It seems this book has generated a bit of controversy among people saying that it isn’t a true picture of India. I don’t know enough to judge their arguments. I would say that if you think they are right, it doesn’t take away from the quality of the writing or of the story. Thirteen-year-old Koly is married off to a sickly boy, whose family needs the dowry money to make a pilgrimage hoping for his healing.
Instead, he dies, and his father dies shortly after. Her mother-in-law, not wishing for another person to support, abandons her in a city where she knows no one. Resourceful Koli soon makes her way and obtains work by embroidering her original designs on quilts.
Read as a story of one young woman’s struggle to survive and thrive, this story is enjoyable.