Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Forbidden Daughter

Set in the sensual richness of India, Shobhan Bantwal's gripping new novel asks: Where can a woman turn when her life's greatest blessing is seen as a curse?

It's a girl! For most young couples, news of their unborn child's gender brings joyful anticipation. Not so for Isha Tilak and her husband, Nikhil. They already have a beloved daughter, but Nikhil's parents, hard-wired to favor male children above all, coldly reject little Priya at every turn. Vain and selfish, they see female grandchildren as burdens, and would just as soon never meet the one growing in Isha's belly. Even the obstetrician agrees, going so far as to suggest the unthinkable, throwing Nikhil into a rage and changing Isha's life forever.

When Nikhil is discovered brutally murdered, Isha is convinced it had something to do with his reaction to the doctor's hideous "solution" to their problem. Alone, grief-stricken, and relentlessly oppressed by in-laws who believe her baby is a bad omen, Isha sets out on her own.

Born into a privileged class, Isha doesn't know the first thing about fending for herself, but to protect her precious daughters, she will learn. And she will cling to the hope given to her by a strange old mystic: that her baby will arrive on the auspicious night of Kojagari Purnima, the full harvest moon, and be a gift from Lakshmi, the goddess of well-being. Isha and her girls will need all the blessings they can get, for the greatest danger of all lies ahead.

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (August 26, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758220308
  • ISBN-13: 978-07582203
My Thoughts:  I picked this book because I had read "The Unexpected Son" and loved it.  I really can't say that about this book.  Right from the start it went very slow.  From the title, I thought the story would have been more about either of the daughters and not about Isha (the widow).  At times I felt connected, but there were times,  I felt detached from the story.   My favorite character was Harish Salvi.  He was such a caring, loving , and in his words, "Nerdy" person.

The premise of the book, selective abortion, was interesting but disturbing at the same time, especially when I heard in the news this week, that this very same thing was happening here in Texas. 
Even though I was disappointed in The Forbidden Daughter, I will still read other books by Shobham Bantwal.

Happy Reading Everyone!!!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

SPANNING THREE GENERATIONS AND HALF THE WORLD, WILDFLOWER HILL IS A SWEEPING, ROMANTIC, AND COMPELLING STORY OF TWO WOMEN WHO SHARE A LEGACY OF SECRETS, HEARTBREAK, COURAGE, AND LOVE. Emma, a prima ballerina in London, is at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. Forced to rest and take stock of her life, she finds that she’s mistaken fame and achievement for love and fulfillment. Returning home to Australia, she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and a strange inheritance: a sheep station in isolated rural Australia. Certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden, Emma prepares to leave for Wildflower Hill to sell the estate. Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way. Wildflower Hill is a compelling, atmospheric, and romantic novel about taking risks, starting again, and believing in yourself. It’s about finding out what you really want and discovering that the answer might be not at all what you’d expect.

MY THOUGHTS: I can't really say that I disliked this story,  because I read this from start to finish.  There were certain parts that went really slow, but other parts, I didn't want to end.   I really enjoyed the dual narratives of  Emma and Beattie, but to be honest, Bettie's story held my interest a little more than Emma's.  I loved Bettie's spunk and determination through out the novel.  I am not sure why, but I couldn't connect with Emma.  Maybe it was her self-absorbed demeanor, or just winey attitude.  Although, I must say she did soften a bit in the end.   This story was more character driven than plot driven, which is my favorite type of story.  The characters in Beattie's era were so real to me, some of them I love, some not so much, but they all seems so real.  

There were many passages in this book, that really made me stop and think.  Here are some of my favorites:

“There are two types of women in the world, Beattie, those who do things and those who have things done to them.”.

"We don’t really know what goes on in families. Best not to judge."

"Beattie came to understand that she’d come to Wildflower Hill to grieve. Not just for Charlie and Lucy, whom, frankly, she had grieved over a great deal already. She was grieving the loss of her youth, the closing down of possibilities as life became what it was rather than what it might have been."

I would definitely read other books by Kimberley Freeman.  I am giving this a 3/5.

Happy Reading