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F2F BC: The Dowry Bride

August 7, 2008

The Dowry Bride
Shobhan Bantwal
Kensington, 2007
320 pages
Womens fiction, Beach read

My impression: I initially selected this book because this particular culture and it’s traditions (Eastern Indian) holds a fascination for me. The idea of arranged marriages, dowries and the cultural beliefs of status all seem to have this hold on my imagination. In that respect this book doesn’t disappoint. Some of the topics explored by the author: Megha’s place in the household of her husband and in-laws is basically that of a servant and no more. Her father is unable to pay her dowry therefore her mother-in-law and husband plot a bride killing. Megha’s overwhelming concern for Kiran and his family’s status should it become known that he is harboring her after she flees the oppressive and deadly household. All the cultural beliefs and traditions explored throughout this story offer the reader insight into some horrifying and ghastly practices which to this day are still carried out against the law. I found those aspects of the book intriguing.

As for the story itself and the writing I wouldn’t put it above a decent beach read. I felt the writing style was simplistic and basic. The story line predictable ~ bad marriage, woman leaves, finds love and learns to live on her own ~ nothing new there. I would read this author if she continues to write what she knows ~ Eastern Indian culture and traditions.

X-posted: Book Club & ARC Blog

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