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Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Review - The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu plus Signed Book Giveaway


As a girl on the brink of womanhood in 1960s India, Shanti Bamzai has big dreams. Rather than enter into an arranged marriage like her sister, Shanti embarks on a journey into the unknown, leaving her family home behind for an education and a chance to chart her own destiny.While India experiences an upheaval of cultural and societal changes as old-world traditions collide with the modern global era, Shanti navigates college, a marriage of her own choosing, and motherhood, fighting a constant battle between the pressures of traditional expectations and her own burning desire to be an artist and an independent woman.A move to America presents exciting new opportunities, but Shanti is disappointed to find herself still hemmed in by the restrictions of her Indian upbringing. As her children become adults and her marriage becomes a shell of what it once was, Shanti must find the courage to step out of her husband’s shadow and into the life she’s always dreamed of.

Book available from...
"Beautiful and lush, The Immigrant Wife takes the reader on one woman's touching, turmeric-drenched journey from naive but determined art student in India to longing-filled American wife and mother. The author Madhu B. Wangu has written a maharaja’s banquet for the senses." - (RITA Award Winning Author) Gwyn Cready

"A winner. The Immigrant Wife: A Spiritual Journey is beautifully written. The story weaves many small strands into an intriguing tapestry, much like the paintings of our heroine, Shanti. It paints two pictures one of the beautiful valley of Kashmir and the beautiful hills of Western Pennsylvania. Shanti’s quiet determination to stay true to herself, her art, and her family is inspirational. I loved it! - Professor Laurence Glasco (University of Pittsburgh)

"In her debut novel, Madhu Bazaz Wangu, conjures a mysterious time and place. The protagonist, Shanti, begins her life as an idealistic but naive girl from the valley of Kashmir. As the story unfolds in America, she learns to heed her desires and shape her life, no longer rolling along like a stone turned in the tide. Wangu creates rich, dynamic images of India, comparable to her watercolors, evoking every sense. The indigenous sights, sounds, and smells are so vivid that I swear I could find my way to Shanti’s home. Wangu's style is gentle and quiet like the protagonist, and deeply powerful. This tale of love and nurturing, loss and growth, and transformation will stay with readers long after they finish the novel."  - Kathleen Shoop (IPPY Award Winner of The Last Letter)

Read an excerpt HERE

Our Book Review
This book has absolutely taken my breath away at how much I willingly became attached to the story and characters, it is an exceptional read.  This to me is what reading is all about, it opened up the 'want' inside of me to learn about a different country, culture, traditions and living.  With the tremendous writing skills of Madhu Wangu, you can vividly see, almost touch and smell what is being described.

The story follows the loveable character Shanti, born in The Valley of Kashmir, India, from childhood to womanhood, from a student to wife then mother, each step of her life is so colourfully detailed by the author it is an absolute pleasure to follow her journey.  To know Shanti is to know her passion for art, which her dreams and life's goals stem from, every breath of her body breathes her love for art as well as the strong love of family and values.

Shanti comes from a very loving traditional Indian family, her mom Maji was another favorite character of mine, reading the wonderful vibrant descriptions about the fictionally delicious meals she selflessly worked on day in and day out was another form of art to enjoy.  Yet Shanti's strong character disregards the traditional ways of an arranged marriage and the full time domestic life expected of her to fulfill her dreams of art college and beyond.  The descriptions of Shanti's passionate drawings and paintings is another wonderful addition to the story.

Love will happen whether your looking for it or not regardless of your goals in life and for Shanti and Stayavan this is exactly what happens and they happily become man and wife.  The story continues, of which, I will not spoil, I will only say that it is a realistic journey that stirred emotion in my heart.

A truly enjoyable, refreshing and almost spiritual read to sit back and escape into and ponder about how our lives rush past us without even a thought to the beauty around us or the true self inside of us.

Unforgettable powerful characters that will long stay with you.

Our Rating
'an absolutely easy'
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About the author
An author, artist and the founder of the Mindful Writers Group, Madhu Bazaz Wangu was a professor of arts and religions of India before becoming a full time writer. She has a doctorate in the Phenomenology of Religions from the University of Pittsburgh and a post-doctoral fellowship from the Harvard University. For twenty-five years, she taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham College in Pennsylvania, Wellesley and Wheaton Colleges in Massachusetts, and Rhode Island College.

In 1997, Dr. Wangu voyaged around the world with students & faculty from various American Universities for the Semester At Sea. In 2010, she founded the Mindful Writers Group. She encourages writers of all levels and genres to delve deeper in their work by body-mind-heart meditations. Her CD, Meditations for Mindful Writers was released in 2011. She guides writers in meditation and writing marathons. Each year in September, the Mindful Writers Group organizes a weekend of Meditation and Writing.

Madhu B. Wangu has published numerous essays and four books on Hindu & Buddhist art and religions. She has also held five one-person art exhibitions in India and US.  Her debut fiction, Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion was published in April, 2015. And her debut novel, An Immigrant Wife has just been released. Currently she is writing her second novel, The Last Suttee.

She lives in Wexford, Pennsylvania, USA with her husband Manoj. They have two daughters — an avionics engineer and a pediatrician — and are blessed with two grandchildren.

Find the author on the following sites...
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NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY
Signed Book Giveaway - 4 Winners !!
Open Worldwide
Ending on Saturday 30th April at 11.59pm EST


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19 comments:

  1. My childhood dream is to marry a foreigner and it came true.

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    Replies
    1. That's wonderful! Thanks for sharing your dream that has become reality!

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  2. I actually didn't have a dream.

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    Replies
    1. Having a dream adds richness to our life. Whether a dream is fulfilled or not is unimportant. If we succeed in making it a reality we move on to our next dream; if not we imagine a different vision and work at it.

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  3. Mine was & still is to act, which I am going to college for. :)

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful! Read The Immigrant Wife for encouragement and inspiration! Good Luck!

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  4. I dreamt to be a doctor as a kid and now as an adult, I failed to be one. So it'll forever be a dream I guess.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps it was not meant to be. At the core of your heart what is it that you see yourself doing that gives to pleasure, makes you sing? Follow that path. I'm sure this time your dream will turn into reality.

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  5. My.dream.was to be a nurse and I .failed at doing that

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    Replies
    1. What was the reason of your failure? What do you really really want? If you desperately desire something you ultimately receive it. Go go ahead plan something that you feel good about and follow the steps. One step at a time.

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  6. I dreamed of happiness and slowly but surely I am.

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    Replies
    1. Reading that makes me happy! Thank you!

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  7. I'm still trying to figure out what my dream is.

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  8. My dream was to travel the world, slowly achieving it!

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  9. I haven't achieved my dream yet, but I'm still working at it. I'll get there one day. :)

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  10. I don't know that I ever had just one dream

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  11. This does sound like an interesting book about how a person can attempt to leave their upbringing behind--but in actuality can not--none of us really can. I take in she waited till her children were grown before thinking of leaving her husband and living her ultimate dream.

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  12. This sounds very different to the sort of book I read, but that's what I like about this site, it introduces new writers and gets readers interested in different genres.

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  13. Fantastic book - love your review, Sharon!! xx

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Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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