Independence - Summary and Key Ideas

'Independence' is a work of fiction set in India teetering on the verge of independence. The narrative, rooted in a sense of authenticity, follows the protagonists' emotional turmoil, as they navigate through excitement, agitation, guilt, and loneliness. Besides individual journeys, the book encapsulates the chaos and joy of a nation, its leaders, and its people at the precipice of emancipation.

This book will appeal to readers interested in historical fiction, with a particular emphasis on India's independence. It is also suitable for those who enjoy narratives interweaving personal stories with broader social and political contexts.

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Key ideas


A family navigates personal aspirations and political turmoil in pre-independence India.

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Amidst adversity and secrets, familial bonds and father's legacy guide the sisters' journeys.

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Amidst pre-independence India's turmoil, the Ganguly sisters face heartbreak and make defiant choices for love and dreams.

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Family's resilience tested amid personal struggles and political upheaval.

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The Chowdhury family's tumultuous journey parallels India's struggle for unity post-independence.

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Summary & Review

"Independence" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a compelling story set in India, around the time of its liberation. The dynamic character Priya, living in a changing India on the cusp of independence, navigates both her own personal and academic challenges, while dealing with the societal shifts surrounding her. Amidst turbulent social and political landscapes, she finds her own path to independence, displaying resilience and perseverance. She feels the poignant struggle of India's journey to freedom echoing in her own life.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist, and teacher of writing. She has contributed to over fifty magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker. Her work has also been included in over fifty anthologies. Divakaruni's works have been translated into twenty-nine languages and many have been made into films and plays. She resides in Houston, where she teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

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