Tamarind and the Star of Ishta (Hardcover)

Tamarind and the Star of Ishta By Jasbinder Bilan Cover Image

Tamarind and the Star of Ishta (Hardcover)


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A powerful story of loss and identity, home and family, Tamarind and the Star of Ishta weaves a family mystery together with adventure and wonder from Costa Award-winning author, Jasbinder Bilan.

Tamarind has never met her Indian mother, Chinty, who died shortly after she was born. But when her father remarries, Tamarind is sent to India to stay with the family she has never met, in their atmospheric ancestral home—a huge mansion high in the Himalaya mountains.

Her arrival in India brings culture shock, secrets, and unanswered questions: What is the tension between her father and the family, and why will no one talk about her mother? Instead of answers, she is greeted with ominous silence.

Taking refuge in the lush gardens one moon-lit night, she follows a friendly monkey to find an abandoned hut and a glowing star ring, and meets Ishta, a mysterious mountain girl. Tamarind unravels the mysteries of the house alongside the search for her own identity.

Jasbinder Bilan was born in a stable in the foothills of the Himalayas that had been in her family for generations. She had a very special relationship with her grandmother, who she says kept the past alive for her. Jasbinder likes to quote her professor, David Almond, who says, “When we write, we create beautiful lies.” This novel was inspired by her grandmother, who provided her with a rich treasure box, part memory, part imagination, in which she drew her inspiration.
Product Details ISBN: 9781338769432
ISBN-10: 133876943X
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: June 28th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English

"A lush world of colors, spices, magic, and the power of knowing oneself better through knowing the places and people that are part of your heritage."-- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“A lush, gorgeous setting in a novel as vivid and original as her Costa-winning debut.” – The Guardian

“Beautifully written, richly atmospheric and touchingly spiritual, this brief novel sparkles like a polished gem.” – Daily Mail

“Weaves together themes of identity, belonging and bereavement with mythology and magical realism, all within the stunning setting of a grand old house in India.” – Booktrust

Praise for Asha and the Spirit Bird

2019 Costa Children’s Book of the Year

Winner of the Times/Chicken House Fiction Prize (UK)

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020 (UK)

Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2020 (UK)

Nominated for the Carnegie Medal (UK)