The Immigrant Wife

The Immigrant Wife

by Madhu Bazaz Wangu

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940152533880
Publisher: Madhu Bazaz Wangu
Publication date: 04/08/2016
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,097,992
File size: 438 KB

About the Author

Madhu Bazaz Wangu’s work includes a collection of stories, Chance Meetings (2015), two novels, An Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey (2016) and The Last Suttee (2017), and books about religions of India. The founder of Mindful Writers Groups and Retreats, currently she is working on, Writing and Living Mindfully: A Guidebook for Writers and a second collection of stories. She has recorded CDs, “Meditations for Mindful Writers: Body, Heart, Mind” (2011) and “Meditations for Mindful Writers II: Sensations, Feelings, Thoughts” (2017). third CD, Meditations for Heartfulness: Generosity, Gratitude, Forgiveness” will be released in 2019. Visit her at

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The Immigrant Wife 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is a realistic fiction novel that takes us through many cultures, eras, and countries in a person’s lifetime. The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey is a story revolving around the chief protagonist, Shanti Bamzai, a girl who dares to follow her heart and her dreams. The book starts with Shanti’s early years growing up in Kashmir, India where she hails from a typical, conservative Indian family that believes a woman’s place is in the home, getting married, and having kids. Shanti, however, aspires to be an artist and manages to get herself the education she wants. She also rebels against the traditional role of women in marriage in India, falls in love, and marries a man of her own choosing. As she immigrates to America and starts raising her family in a different, freer culture, she slowly comes to the realization that she is still not free and is conforming to the ideas of what society expects from a woman. This is her story of finding her wings, so to speak, and takes us through the highs and lows across different cultures and continents. The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is rich in content and the writing is exceptional. I felt like I was in Kashmir while I was reading the book, and the cast of characters has been superbly drawn and portrayed. It gives a very realistic picture of day to day life across these cultures, and Shanti’s character especially is strong yet gentle, and very believable. I also liked how Shanti’s gradual shift toward herself and her coming into her own is developed and portrayed. All in all, this is an excellent book, providing a rich and authentic look into Indian society and culture, and I highly recommend it.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu reflects on the many neglected and buried emotions and desires of an Indian woman throughout her life. By narrating the story of Shanti, the author presents her condition in its rawest and truest form. Shanti's father, who she and her siblings call Bubb, is a typical Indian father, who wants his daughters to be married as soon as they hit puberty. He believes that a woman's duty lies in the kitchen and taking care of her family. Her mother, Maji, represents an ideal wife and mother in this society. She devotes her life to taking care of her husband and children. Shanti's sister, Ganga, is a well-educated girl yet, on being married, she embraces the usual role of the caretaker in her family. Shanti, however, is not satisfied with these prejudiced norms of society. With the help of her open-minded brother, Gaurav, she learns to paint and sketch at an established college. She dreams of becoming a famous artist, but destiny has other plans for her. She gets married and soon finds herself transformed into a wife, whose world is confined within the boundaries of her house and whose ambitions are worthless in the eyes of her husband. In The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey, author Madhu Bazaz Wangu introduces readers to the unrealistic and maddening expectations of society from an Indian woman in every phase of her life. Her technique of shaking the demeaning beliefs prevailing in society by using the characters is exemplary. The strong point of view of Gaurav against the prevailing caste system, its baseless logic, and discrimination against women is thought-provoking. This book is a window to the soul of an ambitious woman. This book has the potential of providing its readers with an ability to look at numerous traditions and beliefs of Indian society, a woman's struggle in finding her own identity while being an ideal wife and mother, and a husband's reluctance in letting his wife follow her dreams. The author's knowledge of gods, goddesses, different places of the world, and art swept me off my feet. This book is an experience worth treasuring. Readers who are fascinated by Indian culture, or who wish to challenge the biased traditions of a society, would enjoy Madhu's work.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is a women’s fiction novel of epic proportions. Wangu chronicles the life of Shanti Bamzai, a young woman growing up in 1960s India. Shanti has great dreams of becoming an artist, and forgoes convention by insisting on studying art at a university in Delhi. However, after her studies, Shanti falls in love with a man, and finds herself sliding back into the traditional role of wife and mother. Her family is encouraging, but Shanti realizes she can’t have both. Yet, when her husband is offered a job in America, Shanti rediscovers her first love, finding there is much more to her life than what she has come to believe. I greatly admired Shanti’s character throughout the novel. I felt her pain and hurt when her husband demeaned her small triumphs while she was trying to work at being an artist, mother, and wife all in one. Wangu really focused on showing the changing ways of the world, and how women often had to fight to become something more than their expected roles. This is a stunning novel, well researched and thought out. I loved watching Shanti’s life unfold, seeing her transformation throughout each part of the novel. This certainly is not an overnight read, and each section of Shanti’s journey as a woman is as important as the last. I was inspired by her ability not to give up on her dreams. The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is undoubtedly one of the best novels I have read this year. It is well worth the time you will spend embracing every element of Shanti Bamzai.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
Love conquers all I LOVED this book so much. It is a very long book. It is all worthy when you finished the entire story. I am always an awe with an Indian beauty. I am so glad to learn more about their beliefs and traditions. Shanti is one gorgeous girl with a very rare talent. Though some members of her family disagreed. This girl has dreams and perseverance to reach her dreams. I LOVED her values especially dignity. She is one woman who is very inspiring. I can relate to some of Shanti's story especially being an Immigrant myself. It is not easy leaving all your loved ones and adjust to everything. This book is very special to read. I am sure that most women can relate to Shanti. This book talks about family values, marriage tragedies and everything in between. It is an adventurous book and very emotional too. I hate her husband so very much until the end. Shanti is very understanding and compassionate and marvelous as a Mom. If Shanti is an American, she is divorced by now especially of what she has been through with her marriage. I am so glad that her star shines though tragedies strike. She was lost. She is willing to give up everything especially with her husband. Love conquers all and everything went back to happiness with her husband. Life is full of surprises with Shanti and her family. This girl has been through a lot and in the end she become very strong and amazing Immigrant Wife. I highly recommend this book. It is one of a kind. Disclosure: I received the paperback copy of the book in exchange of my honest review.
BambiZQ More than 1 year ago
Shanti Bamzai’s life voyage describes a woman intent on exploring her place in the world as she steadfastly implores her family and friends to accept her point of view and envelop her untraditional ways. Shanti divines her own future by creating a world for herself where art is at the center of all she does. Shanti cannot imagine a life without creating her art. For her the challenge begins in her family home and flows throughout this amazing journey as she clashes with societal roles and establishes a strong place for herself in the world of academia and art. Love is at the center of all Shanti does. Love for her family supercedes everything and she delves into that passion to begin studies at a school she did not exactly choose but chose her. Shanti bides her time and never waivers from her ultimate plan of showcasing her art to the world. Falling in romantic love with a man she never expected propels her into a life that she never imagined could be so fulfilling. Love abounds once again as she discovers the blessings of motherhood. Admirably Shanti still focuses on her goals despite a sometimes loveless marriage and disappointments. The combination of love, art, and culture makes this novel so much more than the heroine the story follows. An exploration into the deeper meaning of life and art infused with love will take the reader into a world that they will not want to leave. Madhu Bazaz Wangu is an expert storyteller with the ability to transport you into the world that she is writing about. Wangu’s descriptions of the food, the smells, the landscapes makes this novel a definite must-read.
ElusiveRedTiger More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the fact that the author used actual Indian words, quickly followed by the English translation, so you weren't left wondering. Also, all the descriptions of food sounded soooo yummy! Even though the cultural is literally foreign to me, Shanti was a great character to follow. You will find yourself rooting on as she defies the expectations of women in her country at that time. You grow to love her family and friends and really feel like a part of the story. The book is fairly long, split into 3 books within one, but I didn't find it to be a slow read despite the length. Perhaps it could have been split into 3 smaller books, but I prefer it this way. Then I am not left wondering what happens until the next one comes out! I enjoyed getting to know Shanti in her youth and watching her grow as a woman. A great read! Pick it up! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
JessicaCali More than 1 year ago
Phenomenal book! This book was longer than I thought it would be! Did I mind that? Of course NOT! This is one of those books you want to take your time to read and absolutely savor it! I really enjoyed being able to read all about Shanti growing up & her family. The love, the loss and the emotions that were experienced was absolutely there & I felt like I, as a reader, experienced those feelings too! I loved that no one, not even her father, could her in her way of what she wanted. This book was amazing. We get to follow Shanti from childhood until her children were grown, and I really enjoyed reading about the Indian culture that was woven into the story! For this being Dr. Wangu's first book, she blew me out of the water! I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion through Beck Valley Book Tours. All opinions are 100% my own.
Algene More than 1 year ago
I can relate to the main character of the book, Shanti Bamzai. I love everything about "The Immigrant Wife," especially that she has the courage to leave things behind in order to move forward. Her journey is full of lessons that I will always keep close to my heart. The choices she made were not easy but they were necessary. Madhu Bazaz Wangu did a great job in showing the readers of the book the meaning of being an empowered woman. In this life, we all need to step up. We have to know what we want and go for it. We must not let the shadows of our past nor the people in our lives to stop us from achieving and realizing our dreams. If you are looking for a novel to make you feel good about yourself and your life in general, then you must grab a copy of this book. It's inspiring. It will give you hope.
dewer421 More than 1 year ago
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, but Dr. Wangu hooked me on page two with this description: "...her morning was spoiled like a plate of steaming white rice upon which a housefly sat." I knew at that point that I was going to enjoy this book! All Shanti wants to do is go to college to study art, but her very traditional father has found her a husband and is adamant that she marries. She manages to get permission to go to college, at the expense of her relationship with her father. In college she falls in love and gets married, and even though she is completely against becoming a "typical" Indian wife, she quite rapidly found her footing as a wife and mother. However, in the process of growing her family and moving to America, Shanti has lost her time and energy to paint. As her children grow and her marriage begins to disintegrate Shanti has to decide whether she's going to live for herself or continue to live for her husband and family. This book is an amazing read. It follows Shanti's life from childhood until her children are grown, and has a tremendous amount of Indian culture woven through the story. I learned so much about religion, culture and daily way of life. I adored this book and and wish I could've read more! Dr. Wangu wrote an exceptional first novel! I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
lifeasleels More than 1 year ago
First things first – this book is long. Incredibly long. Do not plan to sit down and read this quickly. It won’t happen and you won’t want it to anyway. Take your time, savor it, read it, enjoy it – enjoy the long read. I loved reading The Immigrant Wife. I loved being in Shanti’s family and growing up with her – all the love, the loss, the emotions. She was so independent and so headstrong. She was talented and she knew what she wanted – no one, even her father, could get in her way. We grew up with her through her school years and into college. We met her friends and we watch her fall in love, out of love, and into love again. The book evoked several emotions at certain points. There was a point that I was angry and let down and disappointed in Shanti as a wife and mother. At the same time, I understand that the culture is different, but I felt that Shanti was Shanti. She was her own personal regardless of culture and she let that go. Fortunately, the last part of the book allowed her to find herself. I truly enjoyed living “with” Shanti and her life. I shared her emotions. I felt happy, anger, determinations, loss, love – it’s all there. And I loved living in India and the different life and experiences. This truly is a great read that I highly recommend.
LynchburgMama More than 1 year ago
Not knowing much about India or the culture, I jumped into this book with an an open mind. I had to research a few things to get the gist of some traditions but I quickly picked up on the culture and what is expected of certain people throughout life. Shanti's father is a firm believer in traditional Indian culture and things that she should put aside all of her personal desires to become the wife that their culture dictates. Rather than sticking to her father's dreams, Shanti goes to college, majors in Art and then, falls in love. Oh, the things we do (and choose NOT to do!) for love! As much as Shanti didn't want to fall into the traditional life of a married woman from India, that is exactly where she ends up. However, her dedication to herself and her love for Art is truly inspiring. For all young women, this is a beautiful book to encourage, inspire and help find our way in life. It made the fire within me believe that there is a time and place for the things that I desire to do - it all just comes in the time that it's meant for and not in our perception of time! I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
JulieGB More than 1 year ago
Shanti did not want to marry, and become a wife having nothing to look forward to except the daily drudgery of running a household of endless chores. She wanted to go to college to become an artist, and nothing else. This was a disappointment to her father, who was from traditional India. After graduating college with a degree in art, she meets Satyavan and falls in love. But will this be the end of her artistry? Only time will tell. I wish I was as headstrong as Shanti was. It was refreshing reading about her life’s journey. I could relate to many of her emotions and thoughts, and believe almost all women could. But with each experience comes growth and knowledge. Shanti went full circle with hers. This was a long book to read, but well worth the time.
BookwormNM More than 1 year ago
After fully enjoying her short stories in the book Chance Meetings, I could not wait to read anything from the same brilliant author: Madhu B. Wangu. The Immigrant Wife is a wonderful life story told so beautifully by Madhu, she has a wonderful way with words, sharing a story that is so powerful when one believes in themselves and listens to their body for their journey through life. I truly enjoyed Shanti's story, how she stood up for herself, how she came to her choices and enjoyed a wonderful life, even her mundane tasks of a housewife could not discourage her spirit and I loved how she found time to revisit her first love of art, even after a long break. I enjoyed learning about the beautiful country of India and all their wonderful traditions, foods and colorful spices. I picked up a raw honesty throughout this book, it almost seemed autobiographical. I loved it! Beauty really exudes and is all around in this story.