In her richly textured debut novel, Suruchi Mohan weaves a captivating coming-of-age tale against the backdrop of intricate world of North Indian classical music. We are swept along by the story of musically gifted Sarika and her revered guru who recognises in her a talent greater than his own; but is her beautiful voice enough to protect her from being a woman in a rapidly changing yet unforgiving society?
Rich in details of Indian traditions and music, the author narrates a powerful story of growing dissatisfaction of ordinary people, their yearnings and hopes, their aspirations and accomplishments, their predicaments, joys and sorrows. The characters come alive and pull you into their middle class values and lives with finely depicted scenes.
Suruchi Mohan is an award winning journalist who covered high-tech and business news for McGraw Hill and IDG publications through the nineties. Her non-fiction has appeared in numerous magazines including Reader's Digest. Divine Music is her first work of fiction.
Suruchi holds an M.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication from San Jose State University. She earned her master's in vocal music from Bhatkhande Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Lucknow and her M.A. in English from Lucknow University. She now lives in Northern California.
"Mohan’s impressive debut explores the connections between spiritual and physical passion in a shifting Indian society, through the lives of two musically gifted young Indian women. Sarika and Swati follow their artistic muses to the local conservatory, where each succumbs to the passions of older men attracted by their talent. Swati, from a poor village, is ruined when her wealthy businessman admirer impregnates and then abandons her. Sarika, the daughter of a well-placed government official, receives private after-class instruction from Kirana, a renowned voice teacher, but falls prey to his seductive lessons on the sensuality of music, and ends up in the same predicament as classmate Swati. The contrasting fates of these similarly afflicted young women leads to a rich multi-generational portrait of a changing cultural and political landscape riddled with new opportunity as well as age-old opportunism."
— Publishers Weekly
"In her richly textured debut novel, Suruchi Mohan opens our eyes to the intricate world of North Indian classical music. We are swept along by the story of Sarika, whose beautiful voice isn’t enough to protect her from being an Indian woman in an unforgiving world. Steeped in the culture and traditions of India, Divine Music is a captivating read."
— Gail Tsukiyama, bestselling author of
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms and Dreaming Water