Nineteen-year-old Devi lives in a sleepy town in India, in a house where her uncle is in charge and her parents struggle due to their lack of sons. Devi has been groomed all her life to become a good and obedient wife. In spite of her discomfort with the tradition, she agrees to an arranged marriage.
Devi soon finds that her relationship with her in-laws is difficult, and Hari, her new husband, is cold and distant. Eventually she joins him in the United States, hoping that things will improve once they are together in their own home. Although at first Devi is eager to please him and be a happy and dutiful wife, she is quickly disillusioned. In the years that follow, she struggles against all odds to free herself and find happiness in her new home despite her husband. When Devi finally gives birth to a daughter, her resolve is strengthened: she will protect both of them and build a new and independent life. But when her goal is in sight, circumstances change, and her life is forever altered in a way she could not have imagined.
Set in India and the United States during the 1970s, this novel tells the story of one young woman’s struggle to empower herself within the confines of an unhappy arranged marriage.