Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

Review: THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER, by Shobhan Bantwal

Isha Tilak and her husband, Nikhil, have just discovered that the child they are expecting is a girl. What would be wonderful news to just about any couple is a curse to the young couple. Young Isha and Nikhil live in India, in a society where male heirs are sought out above all else; female children are viewed as burdens. When their doctor, Dr. Larnick, along with Nikhil’s parents, suggests they have an illegal abortion, Isha and Nikhil are furious and adamantly refuse. Soon after, Nikhil is found brutally murdered. Isha decides that living with her oppressive in-laws is detrimental to the life and safety of her young daughter, Priya, and her unborn daughter. She leaves with a small amount of money and just a few belongings. Born into a privileged class, Isha hasn’t ever had to fend for herself. She soon learns. Isha and Priya seek refuge at a local convent. Isha gives birth to young Diya, and meets Harish Salvi, a doctor that treats the children at the convent. Isha ultimately receives the life insurance money that she and Nikhil kept hidden from his parents and is then able to purchase a more appropriate residence for her and her young girls. She discovers that her husband has left her with evidence of the selective abortion trade, and suddenly her life, and the life of her children, is in danger. THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER tells a difficult story of the treatment and value of women in India. The characters were very compelling, as was the storyline. It has it all: love, bribery, murder, blackmail, kidnapping. Isha is an amazingly strong woman who will stop at nothing to protect the lives of her daughters.

*Note: My apologies to the author. This was scheduled to post in September and for some reason it did not.

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Review: THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER, by Shobhan Bantwal + TIME