The pundit warns Sastra's mother that her daughter's birth signs foretell two possible karmas, one of prosperous security if she keeps to the well-tried path of obedience to tradition, the other of mixed joy and misery if she should attempt to 'fly' and follow her own desires. These are indeed Sastra's choices - between the traditional, collective Hindu society of her parents, and the world of individual destinies and responsibilities to which her generation is increasingly drawn.
Set in Trinidad in the 1950s, Sastra is a moving and tender love story, a rich evocation of the village world and a memorable portrayal of a brave young woman who never tries to evade or complain about the consequences of her choice.
'One of the novel's most striking qualities is the assurance with which it registers inner turbulence. It often suggests a web of feeling that trembles within a framework of courtesies.' - Mervyn Morris.