Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old Koly faces her arranged marriage with hope and courage. But Koly's story takes a terrible turn when in the wake of the ceremony, she discovers she's been horribly misled; her life has been sold for a dowry. And then, when her husband dies, she finds herself cast out with no support. Only her determination — and her exceptional skill in embroidery — offer her hope: not just for survival, but also for a life of independence and happiness.
In prose both graceful and unflinching, this National Book Award-winning novel relays the story of a rare young woman, who even when cast out into a brutal current of time-worn tradition, sets out to forge her own remarkable future. Inspired by a newspaper article about the real thirteen-year-old widows in India today, this universally acclaimed best-seller, characterized by spare, lyrical language and remarkable detail, transports readers into the heart of a gripping tale of hope.
"Koly never gets a chance to find out if she does care for her intended groom. Married and promptly widowed at 13, Koly finds herself in the grim position of being cast out by a society that has no place for girls like her. With a seemingly hopeless future in India, this courageous and spirited young woman sets out to forge her own destiny. Through perseverance, resourcefulness, and sheer luck, she manages not only to find a niche for herself, but even to find happiness again.... Her ability to express herself — and ultimately support herself — with her exceptional skill in embroidery is a symbol of the creative ingenuity that will serve her well throughout her tribulations." — Emilie Coulter, Amazon.com Reviews
|10 - 13
|Aug 21, 2001
|National Book Winner