The Vine of Desire, by Chitra Banerjee...


The Vine of Desire, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Doubleday. 373 pages. $23.95.

Divakaruni's narrative in The Vine of Desire is as gracefully structured as a piece of chamber music, with its interplay of themes and voices, ensemble and solo, working their way toward a final resolving chord.

It begins with discord in the lives of the cousins Anju and Sudha. The strength of Divakaruni's novel is that it's built up through poignant insights into their hearts and minds .

Divakaruni has established herself as an important writer -- her collection of short stories had reviewers reaching for superlatives. The Vine of Desire does nothing to undermine that reputation.

If you find yourself counting the pages left in the book, it's likely to be because you wish there were many, many more.

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