Here’s the story: Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family; her cousins Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of that family. Sudha is as beautiful, tenderhearted, and serious as Anju is plain, whip-smart, and defiant. Yet since the day they were born, Sudha and Anju have been bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend.
The cousins’ bond is threatened, however, when Sudha learns a dark family secret she feels she cannot share with Anju. Urged into arranged marriages, their lives take sudden, opposite turns: Sudha becomes the dutiful daughter-in-law of a rigid small-town household, while Anju goes to America with her new husband and learns to live her own life of secrets. Then tragedy strikes them both, and the women discover that, despite the distance that has grown between them, they have only each other to turn to.