This is the story of Rukmani, written from her perspective as a woman in India. As the youngest daughter, Rukmani has little dowry, and must make what her parents consider to be a poor match. Her husband is a peasant, Nathan, but Rukmani considers herself lucky because he turns out to be a very loving man. She befriends her neighbors, although their relationships are fraught with jealousy and therefore complicated. With Nathan she has one daughter, Ira, but no luck bearing more children. When she goes to an English doctor, Kenny, for help, she and Nathan are finally able to have many sons.
This book includes painful descriptions of the family's very severe poverty. One of Rukmani's sons dies of hunger, and her daughter is forced into prostitution. At the same time, an English tanning company has made its way into the village, and Rukmani is losing sons to its workforce. The book provides a startling account of a family's desperate struggle but is ultimately a hopeful tale.
This report prepared by Katy Pape