Before We Visit The Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a very powerful tale of three women separated by generations, continents, ambition and values of life, and yet united by uncommitted bonds of love, longing for homely bliss, vulnerabilities of impulsive decision making, and above all by loneliness of exiles.. The narrative aided by very powerful language of the author creates very relatable yet mystic worlds of Sabitri, Bela and Tara across a timescape of about seventy years and shifts effortlessly from the bengal countryside to the streets of Austin and Houston.. Its easy to visualise the worlds of these women like a moving picture because the setup of their lives is painted well through the intricate details, as much as their rise and fall in their relationships, struggles of life and their unwillingness to give it up is detailed out beautifully.. A reader could easily find a slice of their own lives in one emotion or the other of these flesh and blood mother and daughter characters, whose relationship can’t even be called amicable most of the times and yet find great source of strength in each other and their virtual bond.. The non-linear style of narrative adds to the reader’s intrigue and keeps us hooked till the end..
Its a must read for all who have loved Banerjee’s other stories like ‘Sister of my heart’ or ‘Vine of desire’ or her masterpiece ‘The palace of Illusions’, and even for others who enjoy reading simple and yet deep tales of people who exist in and around us with all their vulnerabilities and solitude.. I had a great time with the book!