Forbidden Daughter

Forbidden Daughter

4.0 13
by Shobhan Bantwal
     
 

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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

Overview

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. . .

Praise for Shobhan Bantwal and The Dowry Bride

"Splendidly depicts passion, brutality, and cultures in conflict." —Dorothy Garlock

"Vivid, rich. . .expertly portrays a young woman caught between love and duty, hope and despair." —Anjali Banerjee

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bantwal (The Dowry Bride) shifts her focus from arranged marriages to the high stakes parents place on producing a male heir in contemporary India in her middling sophomore outing. Isha Tilak and her husband, Nikhil, are counting on their second child to be a son. But when an ultrasound reveals she's carrying a girl, an illegal abortion is proposed, both by Nikhil's wealthy parents and by Isha's physician, Dr. Karnik. Nikhil staunchly refuses and soon turns up dead, and Isha can't help wondering if he may have been killed for not going along with the abortion. Unfortunately, the dialogue is often flat and didactic ( "Did you know that a conservative estimate puts anywhere between eight and ten million girls as either aborted or killed in infancy in the last two decades?"), and the narrative shifts too late from ponderous exposition to almost page-turning suspense as Isha tries to determine who was involved in Nikhil's murder. Less time on the soapbox and more time getting into the heads of the characters would have helped. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758220301
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Shobhan Bantwal was born and raised in India and came to the United States as a young bride in an arranged marriage. She has published short fiction in literary magazines and articles in a number of publications. Writing plays in her mother tongue (Indian language-Konkani) and performing on stage at Indian-American conventions are some of her hobbies. She lives in New Jersey with her husband. Shobhan loves to hear from her readers.

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Forbidden Daughter 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My neighborhood book club recommended this and I was a little skeptical at first as I know nothing about India. However, boy was I wrong. I started reading this book and couldnt put it down. I read it in two days as I couldnt wait to see what happens. The cover is deceiving as it is worth your time to read it.
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Sunflower6_Cris More than 1 year ago
I know that India had gender issues in the past but I didn't realize that they still exist in today's modern society. The main character Isha shows an amazing ability to defy the old world traditions and selective abortion. The love line twisted in the story with Harish is also touchy and romantic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to discover Shobhan Bantwal, I loved this book more than I can say. It's the story of a woman's journey in a country where she doesn't have many rights. She is a young widow with a child, Priya is a very bright little girl. Isha and her husband, before he was murdered, discovered her second pregnancy also was with a girl. His parents are angry and outraged and want her to abort the child and they say no. Not long after, Nikhil is murdered. She's left to live with her child with his parents who show her no care or compassion. One day something happens and she knows she must leave, thus begins her journey into a life she is unprepared for. She has no status or money and has to learn to survive and take care of her children.It's a journey that will stay with you for a long time and having you thinking why don't I know what is going on in this big world, which really isn't so big after all. It is a story that will touch all women deep within themselves, make them think. We should all be outraged at the plight of infant girls, not just in India, but wherever women are treated this way. If we women do not stand together we will not be able to change things, it begins with us. It's a wonderful book and Isha is sure to touch your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mrs.Bantwal, has done it again, just like Dowry Bride. I can't believe that their is still gender difference in India. My admiration goes to Isha. How she survived, and had her baby. I also admired Harish, and Shelia for helping Isha and her babies in time of needs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Their first offspring was female so Nikhil and Isha Tilak expect their second child to be a male. However, they are stunned when ultrasound test confirms Isha is carrying a girl. Nikhil's affluent parents demand their daughter-in-law abort the female fetus. Even her physician Dr. Larnik recommends ending her pregnancy with an illegal abortion.-------------- Nikhil says no as he wants his offspring to live and also worries about the health of his wife. However, he suddenly is murdered. Isha believes her husband¿s modern day western stance against the abortion on demand due to the fetus being thewrong gender led to his homicide. She assumes she is next if she fails to abort ASAP.-------------------- THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER is an insightful look at the international abortion industry in which a prime reason to destroy the fetus is the wrong gender especially in patriarchal societies. The story line is at its best when the focus is on Nikhil, Isha and their extended families (especially his) as they put faces to the abortion issue. When the plot pontificates against the free use of abortion, some of the sting is lost as the pressure on Nikhil to do his duty and then after he is murdered on his pregnant widow to do her duty loses some of the impact. Still well written, this astute tale affirms no one gets as deep into Indian society as Shobhan Bantwal does (see THE DOWRY BRIDE).------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the subject matter is interesting and impirtant this book was terribly written. Very long and unnecessary passages, predictable plot, and enough already about tge hazel eyes and white skin! I skimmed through just to finish it off. Too many coincidences and convenient but illogical solutions complete with an evil villan make this the perfect bollywood movie.