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February 23 , 2011

The Forbidden Daughter


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?
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The Unexpected Son

What happens when a woman who's realized her dreams wakes up to a shocking truth? Shobhan Bantwal's poignant new novel weaves a captivating tale of one woman's return to India: the place where she lost everything – and now has everything to gain...It is a morning like any other in suburban New Jersey when Vinita Patil opens the battered…

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
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