A couple weeks ago, I picked up a copy of The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal at the nearest thrift store, Savers. I was intrigued, because I like reading books set in other countries, and this was set in a small town in India.
Megha is a new bride in Palguam, India. She's been married to her husband, Suresh, for a year and living with his family. Shortly after waking up, she discovers that her mother-in-law and husband are plotting to kill her and make it look like an accident, so she runs away from their house. Her mother-in-law is angry because she hasn't had a son and her family hasn't produced the dowry they promised. After a night spent wandering around the town, terrified, panicked, and occasionally being chased by drunk, creepy men, Megha calms down enough to consider her options. Going back to Suresh and his family isn't an option, obviously. Going to her sisters or her best friend for aid would be a bad idea; that would be the first place the cops would look, and the police just take her back to her husband's house. Her parents are strict, traditional, conservative Indians who tell her to go back to her husband's family. Megha finally settles on asking her husband's cousin, Kiran, for help. Kiran had shown her more respect and kindness than her husband or her mother-in-law. He agrees to let her hide out in his condo and not tell anyone.
Overall, I liked Megha, Kiran, and the story. At times, though, I wasn't really sure what to make of Megha. She came from a wildly different culture than I do, so sometimes, it was a bit hard to relate to what she was going through.
In review: three paws up. I liked Megha and Kiran, and it was fun learning more about Indian culture.
Book review policy: we mostly review books we enjoyed on here; if it’s not holding our attention past about page 50, it generally doesn’t get finished. 1 paw up: absolutely hated it. 2 paws up: meh. Didn’t absolutely hate it, but didn’t still didn’t like it much. 3 paws up: enjoyed it, but not among my favorites. 4 paws up: loved it.
Used, $4.99. Buy it here.