ONLY THE EYES ARE MINE by Usha Alexander


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A suspenseful narrative weaves the stories and secrets of two generations into one seamless drama.

The story begins in 1940s India, where responsibility and duty to family are paramount. When young and hopeful Sita is married off to Kailas at age 10, a young man with a big secret whose heart has already been claimed by another, she soon learns a difficult lesson about marriage, love and fulfillment that will haunt her until her death. Over the ensuing years, Sita struggles to balance her personal desires and needs with those of her family. The story then jumps to present-day Silicon Valley, as the next generation is going through the very same life lessons: Meera and Ravi, Sita’s niece and nephew, and second-generation Americans, try to balance two vastly different cultures. Meera, a creative and passionate spirit, is engaged and soon to be married to Rajan, a successful yet dull doctor, of whom her father and aunt very much approve–unlike her former flame, Michael. As a dutiful, responsible daughter, Meera feels she cannot break from her familial and cultural constraints to live the way she would like, which her pot-smoking, wannabe-musician brother is constantly pestering her to do. Although many of the narrative’s elements seem tailor-made for talk shows or soap operas, the author lifts her story beyond the lowbrow–indeed, these components only serve to further ignite the curiosity of the reader. Alexander offers thoughtful descriptions, vivid imagery and a perfectly orchestrated, streamlined plot. Moreover, the characters are wholly accessible.

Alexander’s engaging double narrative makes this a worthy literary journey.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 2005
ISBN: 81-88811-21-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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