What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

SOLVED: Children's/YA > Chandra - Indian girl, arranged marriage - husband dies, she is badly treated by his family. [s]

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (Sarai0989) | 66 comments I'm pretty sure this book was called "Chandra" but I've searched under that title and it's not coming up so either I'm wrong or it's just too common a title and I need an author name as well.

It's a book for young adults/teens, about an Indian girl (as in from India, not Native American) and her arranged marriage. She meets the guy for the first time at the wedding, and he seems pretty nice. There is a lot of description of all the rituals and ceremonies of an Indian wedding, I particularly recall her red and gold sari and the nose ring with gold chains going across her cheek and joining up with her earring, and someone putting drops in her eyes to make them wide and dark and then saying "accha!" (which according to the glossary at the back meant "very good"). Anyway, he goes home and she goes back to her family's home and packs up all her stuff and then is shipped off to go and stay with his family… but when she gets there it turns out that her husband has died, just after the wedding. His family think this is because she is a demon or bad luck or something, so they shut her up in a tiny room and beat her and are generally horrible. Apparently they are allowed to do what they like with her since marrying their son makes her their property. She puts up with a lot and then begins to plan her escape. Eventually she manages it, by cutting off her long plait and disguising herself as a boy. I think an old woman helps her. My memory gets a bit vague after that, but perhaps she takes on a fake identity and goes to stay with a friend and goes to school or something…?

The copy that I read had a photograph of an Indian girl in a red wedding sari on the front. I'm sure there was a tagline that said something like "My name is Chandra. Please remember my name, not just that I am your wife." Also I remember that near the end there was a lot of vivid imagery in her mind of Kali, goddess of blood, telling her to get her vengance or something…?? That part's a bit vague.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 220 comments This sounds a bit like Homeless Bird
Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan, with a girl having to go through an arranged marriage, and then having the groom die, but the rest doesn't match. In Homeless Bird, she doesn't try to get vengeance, she just has to survive in this city of widows that she gets dumped in.
Good luck on your search!

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (Sarai0989) | 66 comments I don't think that's it - although you're right, the story is very similar. But in the one I remember I don't think she was married to the boy just so his family could use her dowry to pay for his medical fees, I'm pretty sure his family was shocked by his sudden death and not expecting it at all.
Thanks though!

message 4: by Diana (new)

Diana Welsch | 527 comments There's a book called Chandra by Frances Hendry that seems to fit perfectly.

From Amazon:

Chandra is looking forward to her arranged marriage - her new husband is open-minded and modern-thinking. But when he dies shortly after their wedding, Chandra realizes that she is now the property of her husband's family who blame her for their son's death. She escapes into the desert and eventually finds her way home - but her husband's family are hot on her heels.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (Sarai0989) | 66 comments YES that is it! Fantastic, thank you!!

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