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The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal
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The Dowry Bride

by Shobhan Bantwal

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When you get married in India, the conditions could be surprising…

Megha Ramnath, married just over a year, awoke and found her husband missing. Arising, she steps outside into the cool darkness. Searching for Suresh, she notices a light coming from the small shed in the back yard. Cautiously approaching, she hears familiar voices. Listening, a deep fear seizes her heart. They are plotting murder! Her mother-in-law is describing the detailed plan of her demise to Seresh! There is no time to think. She must get away now…

Running till her breath comes in gasps, Megha finally stops to consider her options. If she returns to her parent’s home, they would likely send her back to Suresh. Wandering the streets late at night was very dangerous. She must find a place of refuge. Megha could think of only one person who had shown her kindness. But would he force her to return home as well? Kiran was a good person, but he was also Suresh’s brother. The idea seemed a poor choice, as contact with family could prove risky. Megha ducks into a dark corner just as a car passes. A stranger is watching her closely so she moves on. Just in the nick of time she climbs quickly over a fence and out of his site. Kiran seems her only hope. His apartment is not far. Knocking lightly, there’s no answer. Megha turns to run, but hears footsteps echo in the stairwell.

Fear is constant. Irrational decisions often lead her away from safety. Danger lurks only steps behind. Will Megha ever find peace? Will she be on the run forever? Will the evil plans be carried out?

The Dowry Bride is an eye opener to the challenges many Indian women face in a culture few foreigners comprehend.

Though well written and informative, there is a lot of “back story” that interrupt the overall flow of the book. ( )
  TheReadersCove | Sep 29, 2012 |
I think this may have been her first novel. it is not as good as the others I have read. The characterizations are good, but the characters either totally good or totally bad. The basic plot is quite unlikely, and the books stops rather than ends. One is drawn on to continue reading by her wonderful descriptions of the individual scenes. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Jul 26, 2012 |
Soooooooo good. I had this book on the top of my TBR Pile for a long time and I regret that I have not picked this up sooner. This is a MUST read!!! ( )
  lissyavon | Oct 2, 2011 |
I had high expectations for this book but it failed miserably to entertain or educate me on the customs of India's Dowry Brides. The first problem I had was that the book is written for 5th graders - I don't believe there are more than a handful of sentences longer than 20 words. This brevity made me feel like I was read a Dick and Jane book from the 60's and 70's. The conversations, scenic descriptions and cultural references were stilted and didn't flow very well.

Secondly - Where was the character development? I felt as if I was reading a dime store romance novel - very predictable - teenage romance novel stuff!

Last but not least - I could have learned more about Dowry brides in one concise, but well written paragraph than I did reading the entire novel. I only muddled through it to find out the ending, albeit a very predictable one! ( )
  flutelaura | Jul 1, 2011 |
Excellent read, full of information that many would not typically know. I enjoyed it tremendously-never had a dull moment of reading at all!!! ( )
  KWoman | Mar 4, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Her parents named her Megha, which means "cloud" in Sanskrit, perhaps because she cast a gray shadow over their lives at a time when they didn't expect overcast skies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758220316, Paperback)

One sultry night, a young bride overhears an extraordinary conversation. The voices speak of a plot to murder a wife who has failed to produce a child and whose family has failed to produce the promised dowry...

Megha is sick with horror when she realizes she is the intended victim. Her husband--the very man who tied the sacred necklace of marriage around her neck--and his mother are plotting to kill her! In the moment of panic, she runs for her life. Frantically racing through Palgaum's deserted streets, her way lit only by the lights strung up for the Diwali festival, her single goal is to escape death by fire. But fleeing from her would-be killers seems impossible--unless she can find someone to help her...

To approach her best friend would bring scandal to an innocent woman's doorstep, and turning to her own strict, conservative family is out of the question. Instead, with nothing but the sari she wears and a memory of kindness, Megha finds her way to Kiran, the one man who has shown her friendship and respect. Hiding her in his apartment, Kiran becomes her protector. But the forbidden attraction that grows between them can only bring more danger...

Caught between tradition and the truths buried in her heart, a dowry bride will discover the real cost of the only things worth having in life...

"Packed with detail...splendidly depicts passion, brutality, and cultures in conflict." --Dorothy Garlock

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:17 -0400)

When she discovers that her husband and his mother are planning to kill her because she has failed to produce a child and her family has failed to produce the promised dowry, Megha, running for her life, finds a safe harbor in the arms of a good friend, a relationship that is strictly forbidden.… (more)

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