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Whelan, Gloria.
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
IL 3-6, RL 4.1
ISBN 0060284528
In India, parents hope to make good marriages for their daughters. Young Koly's parents matched her to Hari, the son of the Mehta family. The marriage was fraudulent, for Hari was desperately ill with consumption, and his family had wanted Koly's dowry to make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Varanasi in hopes that the sacred waters of the Ganges River would improve Hari's health. On arriving at the sacred city, Hari's consumption worsened and he dies. Koly becomes a widow who is just thirteen-years-old, in service to her spiteful mother-in-law. Eventually, Koly's mother-in-law abandons her at the temple in the holy city of Vrindavan. Frightened and alone, Koly discovers that Vrindavan is a city of thousands of widows, many who have been abandoned, who spend their days chanting in the temples to be the monks for food. Will Koly give in? Can she find some kind of employment, not an easy thing for a single woman in traditional Indian society? To find out read this culturally enlightening tale of universal emotions, and learn how this spirited young woman experiences her world.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)
SUBJECTS:     Courage -- Fiction.
                        India -- Fiction.


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