Songs for Sighing

Songs-for-SighingJennifer and Purnima were as different as eggs and quiche. one was an orphan villager who lost her entire family in a mudslide that destroyed her village. Threatened with honor killing for marrying a man from her village, the couple flee to a major city and blend in there. Purnima had never stepped inside a schoolroom but, learning from the children in her care, she made herself literate. The other was an American college graduate whose husband’s job took them to India. They had more in common than either of them ever understood, and they bonded quickly. The time during which their lives entwined was marked by births, life-threatening illness, adoption of an Indian child by Americans, the added burden of grumpy old women. When the time came that their lives took different paths, Jennifer went through a kidnapping, ransom demands, and unexpected kindnesses. Purnima braved the hardship of wresting a living from a few unpromising acres. Each went forward made stronger by what she had learned from talking with the other and observing her. Each adapted those lessons, more or less consciously, to her ongoing life. “the dove croons country tunes, the nightingale serenades.”