Divakaruni applied the Page 69 Test to Oleander Girl and reported the following:
Page 69 of Oleander Girl falls in the middle of chapter 3. Here, our protagonist Korobi, who has been told that she lost both her parents at birth, and who has always longed to know more about them, is finally handed a photo of her mother by her grandmother Sarojini.Listen to an excerpt from Oleander Girl, and learn more about the book and author at Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's website.
"I knew her right away--those serious, straight eyebrows were the ones I saw whenever I looked in the mirror. But she was her own person, too, with her generous, strong-willed, beautiful mouth. She smiled with such vivacity into the camera that I was sure my father had been the photographer. Indeed, when I turned it over, a bold script stated, To lovely Anu. My heart raced. Halfway across the world, before I'd even been imagined, my father had handed this piece of paper to my mother. I ran my fingers across the badk, over where their fingers had rested. It was as close to touching the two of them as I had ever been."
This is a life changing moment for Korobi. It's the moment when she decides that she must put off her wedding to her beloved fiance Rajat, leave the safe Kolkata mansion in which she has always lived, and travel to America to find out who her mother really was. Only then, she believes, will she herself know who she really is.
It is the moment when she steps away from innocence into experience; from certainty into questioning; from girlhood into her uncomfortable adult existence.