review showhost July 2016.
I feel that everybody should read this book to enlighten us of the ritual and beliefs of some Asian families. Also to understand the cruelty & violence that befalls young indain girls who are still forced into marriage with a stranger at 15. This book is the story of one such girl who had the courage to break away. This made her an outcast in the Asian community & brought shame on her family. She was disowned, considered dead, for most/all of her life. These girls are shown a picture of a man (often a lot older and living elsewhere in the world) and told they will go out for a few months to meet and marry him, then he will come into this country as her husband. They are treated no more than dogs to serve & obey and be punished when they don’t.
She had gone from being a virtual prisoner in her own home to having to cope for herself in the wide hostile world. Her crime was that she was a woman & had chosen to marry a man of her choice who she loved. She escaped and ran off with the man, they lived in squalor, they had children, she fell out of love and met someone else.
She went on to do adult education courses and set up a refuge for other women who were either being beaten or forced into marriage. But her family still would not talk to her or acknowledge her existence. Honour is more important than happiness.
Although I admired her courage and tenacity I can’t say I warmed to her when she cheated on her husband. The husband who had stuck by her, loved her and supported her in the beginning.
These reviews were written in 2007/8: