THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER
In her second novel, Bantwal switches gears from arranged marriages to the pressure parents are under to produce
a male heir in contemporary India. Combining rich imagery, poignant themes and pure love, Bantwal opens the reader's eyes to what is real and what is fiction in other cultures. Moving from a love story to a thriller in just a matter of pages, this novel is as full of surprises as it is political statements.
Isha Tilak and her husband Nikhil's lives are forever changed when a sonogram reveals that their second child is another girl and both their doctor and Isha's in-laws suggest it be aborted, an illegal practice in their home country of India. Denouncing the notion, the couple unknowingly starts a chain of events that leads to Nikhil's mysterious death and Isha fending for herself and her daughters in a male-dominated world. (Kensington, Sep., 324 pp., $14.00)