In India tradition decrees that marriages are arranged, and for young Koly this means that she is forced to marry a sickly young boy with a cruel mother. With no choice in the matter, Koly becomes his wife, but the union is short lived, for he dies, leaving her a widow.
For a time, Koly's mother-in-law lets her live with them so that she can take the small pension that the government pays to widows such as Koly, but eventually she takes her to the city of Vrindavan and abandons her. Here in Vrindavan there are thousands of other white clad Indian widows, homeless and with little hope.
But Koly is determined to shape her own future, and so she does, one small step at a time.
I thought that “Homeless Bird” was a very well balanced book. It depicted the traditions of India without the harshly critical air that many similar stories would assume. Gloria Whelan creates a detailed picture of India and its culture. The calm but bold main character Koly is sure to win her way into any reader's heart. I would definitely recommend “Homeless Bird” for its cultural aspects and interesting plot.
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