Sita has been sent to Valmiki's ashram, at Rama's command never to return. This extraordinary novel is her story---she who, as much as Rama, is the heart of Ramayana, one of the greatest living epics. It is also the story of Lakshmana, crushed by guilt on Sita's abduction; of Soorpanakka, shocked at Ravana's being struck by love, alien to the rakshasas' code; and of Rama's turmoil when confronted by public gossip about Sita, his beloved wife. Through the remembrances of these and other characters, Sita comes alive as a figure of womanhood. Inspired by myriad age-old and culturally diverse retellings, Vayu Naidu creates a rich, deeply moving and original work of fiction, Sita's Ascent illuminates the physical and emotive landscape of a woman in exile, who crosses the desert of loss and ascends the abyss of abandonment with the power of love that transforms the narrators and the listeners.