Allyssa Lee
September 24, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Queen of Dreams

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Chitra Divakaruni’s engaging sixth novel has two narrators: Rakhi, an irritable Berkeley artist, single mom, and chai teahouse co-owner struggling to keep it together despite an annoying ex-husband and competition from a Starbucks-like franchise; and her unnamed mother, a haunted dream teller who irks Rakhi by refusing to share details of her past. Divakaruni weaves in and out of the dream world, a bygone India, and modern California to tell the mother-daughter stories with lilting, lyrical ease. Despite a contrived 9/11 episode and a hasty ending, Queen of Dreams enchants as much with its flashes of fancy as it does with its fresh spin on cultural identity, family, and redemption.

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