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Daughters of the House
     

Daughters of the House

by Indrani Aikath-Gyaltsen, Aikath-Gyaltsen
 

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“A wondrous accomplishment—a wise story about love, loyalties among women, and the punishments of betrayals.”—Amy Tan
 
It should have been a day for celebrating: Eighteen-year-old Chchanda, her younger sister Mala, and their old servant Parvati receive news that their beloved aunt is returning from nearby Ranchi with

Overview

“A wondrous accomplishment—a wise story about love, loyalties among women, and the punishments of betrayals.”—Amy Tan
 
It should have been a day for celebrating: Eighteen-year-old Chchanda, her younger sister Mala, and their old servant Parvati receive news that their beloved aunt is returning from nearby Ranchi with a husband. Their meager ways of eking out a living will come to an end. There will be a man in the house and, as a lawyer, he is rich. But instead of rejoicing, the daughters of the house are threatened.

Rich with nuances and cadences of human emotion, Daughters of the House explores the true meaning of love, betrayal, and compassion. Filled with the sights, sounds, and mores of contemporary rural India, Daughters of the House takes as its characters not only women, but their house, nature, and the society that enmeshes them. Borne along with Indrani Aikath-Gyaltsen’s beguiling language, we come to know and experience their world, one that is strangely familiar, yet unlike any we have ever seen.

Praise for Daughters of the House

“An involving and engaging look at relationships that connect women in families. I found my own sisters, mother, and madrinas in Indrani Aikath-Gyaltsen’s Indian women. A book that quietly, surely won me with its clarity and good writing.”—Julia Alvarez, author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent

“[A] fine first novel . . . What begins as the narrator’s amusing campaign of passive resistance darkens when sickness and betrayal invade the house and she learns that houses and families can devour as well as sustain.”The New Yorker

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in rural India, this quietly moving tale of doomed passion, scandal and betrayal sensitively probes one family's problems. Chchanda, the sarcastic, precocious teenage narrator, burns with resentment and insecurity when Aunt Madhulika, who raised her, brings home a fiance, selfish lawyer Pretap Singh. The household is a matriarchy: Chchanda's father abandoned them long ago and her mother is dead, leaving the aunt, Chchanda's sister Mala and Parvati, a thorny, vituperative Roman Catholic servant who is nevertheless embraced by the Hindu Brahmin family. Seduced by Singh, Chchanda guiltily carries on a secret affair with him while Madhulika is increasingly crippled by lupus. When her aunt dies, Chchandra, now pregnant, is free to marry her uncle-in-law, but fate and conscience intervene, taking her in a radically different direction. In sharp, shining prose Indian first novelist Aikath-Gyaltsen dissects domestic life with the gimlet precision of Jane Austen. (Jan.)
Library Journal
This American debut by an Indian writer considers insularity, invasion, and betrayal in the quiet but profound realm of the home. On the banks of the Koel River near Ranchi sits Panditji's House, home to three generations of self-sufficient women. The house is the source of their identity and pride and the heart of this story. Young and self-absorbed, Chchandra becomes hostile and suspicious when faced with a male interloper, the new husband of her ailing aunt Madhulika. As this outsider and rival infiltrates the daily routines of Panditji's House, Madhulika succumbs to degenerative lupus, and a shocking complication irrevocably alters the household's equilibrium. The narrative voice, sometimes vague, sometimes overanalytical, dominates this imperfect debut. Appropriate for sizable fiction, feminist, and international collections.-- Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345386557
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Edition description:
First Trader paperback ed
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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