Born to a father who is Sikh and a mother who is Hindu, Maya has spent her life in Canada where her parents immigrated to start their life together. Maya’s mother feels lonely and alienated away from India and the rift between her and Maya’s father–one that used to be bridged by love–turns into a chasm with their religious ideals and dreams for the future on opposite sides.
After Maya’s mother commits suicide, Maya and her father travel to India with the remains. They arrive in New Dehli at the same time Indira Gandhi is murdered and riots break out across the country. Maya is separated from her father. She witnesses atrocities that cause her to stop speaking and withdraw from her surroundings.
Maya is taken in by the family of a doctor who live in the desert. Sandeep, the adopted son of the family she stays with, tries to draw her out of her shell while chronicling her life with his family in a diary.
This novel in verse is told in Maya’s voice as well as Sandeep’s with occasional utterances from the spirit of Maya’s mother. The plot is epic and the length is considerable, but the pages fly by.
Karma is a beautiful, haunting book that gives readers a clear glimpse into a particular moment in history while remaining true to the voice of its teen protagonists.
I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, romance, novels in verse, and epic stories. I loved it!
~ Tricia is the current teen librarian at CPL. She will be leaving in a few weeks but is absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Sharon Colvin as the new head of teen services.