By Sarita Mandanna
(Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9780446564106, 480pp.)
Publication Date: March 2011
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As the first girl to be born into the Nachimanda family in over thirty-five years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Spirited and strong-willed, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died in tragic circumstances. Together they grow up amidst the luscious jungles, rolling hills, and coffee plantations of Coorg in Southern India; cocooned by an extended family whose roots to this beautiful land can be traced for centuries. Their futures seem inevitably linked, but everything changes when, one night, they attend a "tiger wedding." It is there that Devi gets her first glimpse of Machu, the celebrated tiger killer and a hunter of great repute. Although she is still a child and Machu is a man, Devi vows to marry him one day. It is this love that will gradually drive a wedge between Devi and Devanna, sowing the seed of a devastating tragedy that will change the fate of all three --- an event that has unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come.
Told in rich, lyrical prose and set against the background of a changing society, TIGER HILLS is a sweeping saga about one woman's determination to live life on her own terms --- and a riveting novel about the choices we make in the name of family, nation, and love.
Sarita Mandanna was born in Coorg, India and worked in Hong Kong before moving to the US. She is a private equity professional now based in New York City and she holds an MBA from Wharton and a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management. TIGER HILLS is her first novel.
"Set in Southern India at the end of the nineteenth century, Mandanna's magnificent debut follows the fortunes of two childhood friends throughout their lives...It is impossible to stop reading Mandanna's spellbinding epic."
"An extraordinarily imaginative novel with prose that catches in the heart like poetry"
"With great skill, Sarita Mandanna inserts the reader into Southern India in the late 1800s and captivates us with her saga of a strong-willed girl making difficult choices that will change her life...I was hooked up to the very last page, and reluctant to have to leave this fascinating world."
"Set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mandanna's Tiger Hills is lush with descriptions of Coorg in India. It's a novel that is sprawling, epic in scope and exquisitely crafted in details. An absorbing, thoroughly engaging read."