When Rituparna suddenly loses her mother at the age of five, she is shipped off to a trusted relative so she can grow up in a loving family. Instead, she finds herself bullied, sexually abused and has the first of several near-death-experiences. She grows up unsure of where love ends and cruelty begins and struggling to process the world without the dark lens of abuse. The acute anxiety, panic attacks, and severe depression follow her from boarding school to her move to Silicon Valley
After her sense of reality is shaken by series of unexplained events, she, an atheist, finds her way to healing in the most unexpected quarters - looking within and opening herself up to a series of surreal spiritual events. How does she cope with what has happened to her? And how does she heal and find her way into a truly fulfilling life?
Haunting, evocative and brave, Rituparna Chatterjee's groundbreaking magic realism memoir The Water Phoenix gives voice to the countless victims of abuse who still find it difficult to speak of their trauma in today's India. Most of all, The Water Phoenix is the story of transcending trauma and coming home to oneself.