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The Dowry Bride Paperback – Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation; First Kensington Trade Paperback Printin edition (Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758220316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758220318
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By sara1 on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback
The Dowry Bride This is the story about a young bride called Megha. After overhearing her husband and mother-in-law planning to kill her, she runs away and ends up going to Kiran, her husband's cousin, who had always shown her kindness.

The first half of the book was good, quite tense, and you feel quite shocked about what her husband is planning to do. The story keeps going back and forward and you get a bit more insight about Megha, her family and the Hindu religion.

However, the second half is basically just a love story and the ending is very predictable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating. Loved the insight into the Indian culture. Excellent writing too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 46 reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
(3.5) "At the age of twenty-one, Megha Ramnath... was about to be executed." 28 Aug. 2007
By Luan Gaines - Published on
Format: Paperback
In modern-day middle class India, Megha Ramnath, a twenty-one-year old bride of one year, awakens from an exhausted sleep to discover her husband and mother-in-law plotting a gruesome death for her, the mother-in-law furious that Megha's dowry has not been forthcoming. An overweight, homely woman, Chandramma chose the educated young woman for her beauty and dowry, but has since come to loathe the compliant girl, her natural beauty making the older woman even uglier by comparison. At first disbelieving of what she is witnessing outside the wood shed, Megha is petrified, finally taking flight before her devious relatives can act. Racing through the night, Megha can only think of one destination and that one risky, knowing her own family will send her back to her murderous in-laws.

In an evolving society that values educated women, Megha is caught in a world where differing belief systems are practiced by families who sometimes choose traditional ways, restricting the influences of modern society, clinging to the practices of generations. As a dowry bride, Megha falls into a family that views her as a servant, her worth tied the amount of money her family can provide. At the mercy of her mother-in-law, Megha is a pawn and can be disposed of without much investigation into her disappearance. Escaping to the one place the family will not think to look, her temporary protector is of sufficient wealth to avoid the prying eyes of strangers. Yet after weeks of hiding, Megha again falls prey to those who would harm her. In a mix of drama, from Megha's impulsive flight to her constant fear of discovery, to humor and romance, the girl's spirit remains constant.

Targeting a very special audience, the author points out in an afterward that most Indians write literary novels that are "beautiful but don't always reach large segments of the reading public." Bantwal hopes to reach a mainstream audience, one that expects "romance, mystery, sadness and humor". With that in mind, the author accomplishes her goal, a horrific tale grounded in reality but spiced with romance and drama. The fact is that dowry brides are often the unacknowledged victims of a social convention that turns a blind eye to their plight. The Dowry Bride shines a light on an ancient practice that still exists. Although Megha's troubles are tempered with the promise of romance and an opportunity for a changed future, the reason for this protagonist's dilemma is based in uncomfortable reality. Luan Gaines/2007.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
India and all its ironies - Highly recommended 3 Sept. 2007
By NYK - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone who has lived in India, and had educated friends and relatives succumb to the demands for dowry ( some very subtle, some not so subtle), DOWRY BRIDE, is a book we needed. The issue has permeated all socio-economic strata's and faith groups in India and some brides do burn for not bringing enough of a dowry, while others live with taunts, abuse and discrimination for not having brought the laundry lists of goods demanded. Female infanticide in India has its roots in traditions such as this. Woven into fiction, 'The Dowry Bride' will perhaps do for dowry what 'Kite Runner' did for Afghani kids. Highly recommended!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Captures your attention 31 Oct. 2007
By Linda Carpenter - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was an amazing accidental find! The author did a wonderful job of weaving a heartfelt story with color and words and facts about the culture of India. It shows the strength of a country with many old traditions and manages to keep the pages turning so quickly you feel as though you are in her world. And the message is life filled with new beginnings and hope!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A new take on an old problem 16 Sept. 2008
By Rachna Vohra - Published on
Format: Paperback
Within the first few minutes of her debut novel, Shobhan Bantwal manages to drag the reader, kicking and screaming, into the dark life of the Ramnath family's young bride, Megha. The soon-to-be victim of a murder plot by her husband and mother in law, Megha runs from her home into the arms of the only person she feels can keep her safe.

In the pages that ensue, the author elicits feelings of intense fear, passion, and complete uncertainty. She covers an issue still quietly occurring and being ignored in India - dowry killings.

At the beginning of her novel, Shobhan talks about the beauty of India, its culture, and its people, and the tragedy that these horrible crimes are taking place and often being ignored. She manages, however, to use the issue to turn her story into a suspenseful romance, where Megha finds herself in many (interesting) positions she never imagined she would find herself in!

An interesting read that keeps you on your toes from beginning to end, Shobhan has done the romance novel market a favour with The Dowry Bride.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good topic, Bad Aproach 10 April 2009
By Nidhi Shrivastava - Published on
Format: Paperback
Because I am writing a thesis on the progress of Indian women, it took me a while to find a novel, which was based solely on the dowry Bride Issue. And I was relieved to find it in Shoban Bantwal's Dowry Bride. But, YES, there are going to be a lot of BUTS because Bantwal uses prejudice and makes the villain, i.e., the mother-in-law, a bad product of violent rape from an untouchable? This was a disappointed to me and the ending was too quick, and really was a diane steel novel rather than a substantial novel like Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair. There are many reasons behind why a man's family is cruel to the bride, but casteism seemed like an easy and definitely a bad approach to justify the mother-in-law's cruel nature. Although I do not believe in casteism and do not belong to the untouchable caste, but give them a break. Was not B.R. Ambedkar an untouchable? A serious disappointment. Also, the actual scene where the heroine's life is threatened is barely mentioned, the rest is a romantic and odd story of a romance between the husband's cousin and the heroine!
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