My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jasmine Skies was a book I was very nervous about reading. I really shouldn’t have been.
For some reason, I got it into my head that it couldn’t be anywhere near as good as Artichoke Hearts. And then I started thinking about the whole Difficult Second Album Theory. Essentially all this left me just looking at Jasmine Skies on the shelf and being genuinely nervous about picking it up.
But, like I said, I shouldn’t have been. Jasmine Skies is the second story about Mira Levenson (previously introduced in Artichoke Hearts). In Jasmine Skies, Mira is flying to India to spend the summer with her aunt and cousin whom she’s never met. It’s a trip that is destined to change her life forever.
Kolkata and India are brilliantly vivid and sing from the pages. Coupled with the bright, bold brilliance of India, Brahmachari has written a very quietly beautiful (achingly so) book. She marries some big themes here; poverty, fate, love, destiny and wraps them all around a coming of age story for Mira. I love how Brahmachari writes. I really do. She’s perceptive, sensitive, and kind. There’s a warmth to this story and a genuine love that’s almost palpable to experience.
This is also a book about memory. Memories caught in the fold of times, scribbled down on paper or carved out of wood, and unable to be let go of. Now that I think about it, it’s a coming of age story, not just for Mira, but for everyone involved really.
Horizon-stretching, perception-changing, Jasmine Skies is an utter treasure. And it ends on the most perfect note possible.