Readers’ Favorite Five Star Seal
Readers’ Favorite reviewers awarded 5 Star reviews and seal to The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey. And here they are!
The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is a realistic fiction novel that takes us through many cultures, eras, and countries in a person’s lifetime. The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey is a story revolving around the chief protagonist, Shanti Bamzai, a girl who dares to follow her heart and her dreams. The book starts with Shanti’s early years growing up in Kashmir, India where she hails from a typical, conservative Indian family that believes a woman’s place is in the home, getting married, and having kids. Shanti, however, aspires to be an artist and manages to get herself the education she wants. She also rebels against the traditional role of women in marriage in India, falls in love, and marries a man of her own choosing. As she immigrates to America and starts raising her family in a different, freer culture, she slowly comes to the realization that she is still not free and is conforming to the ideas of what society expects from a woman. This is her story of finding her wings, so to speak, and takes us through the highs and lows across different cultures and continents.
The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is rich in content and the writing is exceptional. I felt like I was in Kashmir while I was reading the book, and the cast of characters has been superbly drawn and portrayed. It gives a very realistic picture of day to day life across these cultures, and Shanti’s character especially is strong yet gentle, and very believable. I also liked how Shanti’s gradual shift toward herself and her coming into her own is developed and portrayed. All in all, this is an excellent book, providing a rich and authentic look into Indian society and culture, and I highly recommend it.
The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is a women’s fiction novel of epic proportions. Wangu chronicles the life of Shanti Bamzai, a young woman growing up in 1960s India. Shanti has great dreams of becoming an artist, and forgoes convention by insisting on studying art at a university in Delhi. However, after her studies, Shanti falls in love with a man, and finds herself sliding back into the traditional role of wife and mother. Her family is encouraging, but Shanti realizes she can’t have both. Yet, when her husband is offered a job in America, Shanti rediscovers her first love, finding there is much more to her life than what she has come to believe.
I greatly admired Shanti’s character throughout the novel. I felt her pain and hurt when her husband demeaned her small triumphs while she was trying to work at being an artist, mother, and wife all in one. Wangu really focused on showing the changing ways of the world, and how women often had to fight to become something more than their expected roles. This is a stunning novel, well researched and thought out. I loved watching Shanti’s life unfold, seeing her transformation throughout each part of the novel. This certainly is not an overnight read, and each section of Shanti’s journey as a woman is as important as the last. I was inspired by her ability not to give up on her dreams. The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is undoubtedly one of the best novels I have read this year. It is well worth the time you will spend embracing every element of Shanti Bamzai.
The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey by Madhu Bazaz Wangu reflects on the many neglected and buried emotions and desires of an Indian woman throughout her life. By narrating the story of Shanti, the author presents her condition in its rawest and truest form. Shanti’s father, who she and her siblings call Bubb, is a typical Indian father, who wants his daughters to be married as soon as they hit puberty. He believes that a woman’s duty lies in the kitchen and taking care of her family. Her mother, Maji, represents an ideal wife and mother in this society. She devotes her life to taking care of her husband and children. Shanti’s sister, Ganga, is a well-educated girl yet, on being married, she embraces the usual role of the caretaker in her family. Shanti, however, is not satisfied with these prejudiced norms of society. With the help of her open-minded brother, Gaurav, she learns to paint and sketch at an established college. She dreams of becoming a famous artist, but destiny has other plans for her. She gets married and soon finds herself transformed into a wife, whose world is confined within the boundaries of her house and whose ambitions are worthless in the eyes of her husband.
In The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey, author Madhu Bazaz Wangu introduces readers to the unrealistic and maddening expectations of society from an Indian woman in every phase of her life. Her technique of shaking the demeaning beliefs prevailing in society by using the characters is exemplary. The strong point of view of Gaurav against the prevailing caste system, its baseless logic, and discrimination against women is thought-provoking. This book is a window to the soul of an ambitious woman. This book has the potential of providing its readers with an ability to look at numerous traditions and beliefs of Indian society, a woman’s struggle in finding her own identity while being an ideal wife and mother, and a husband’s reluctance in letting his wife follow her dreams. The author’s knowledge of gods, goddesses, different places of the world, and art swept me off my feet. This book is an experience worth treasuring. Readers who are fascinated by Indian culture, or who wish to challenge the biased traditions of a society, would enjoy Madhu’s work.