The Last Suttee is a novel about a woman’s struggle to put an end to the ancient ritual, suttee, meant for a widow to self-immolate on the funeral pyre of her husband. Kumud Kuthiyala has worked hard to put her early life in Neela Nagar behind her. As director of an all-girl orphanage in metropolitan Ambayu, she has become a warrior for women’s education and equal rights. With the help of her love, Dr. Shekhar Roy, she is vigilant in protecting her charges from outdated customs that victimize girls and women. Yet, despite her many successes, her past still haunts her.
A shocking phone call from an anonymous caller turns Kumud’s world upside down. A young bride from Neela Nagar has decided to self-immolate on the funeral pyre of her husband to commit suttee. Kumud has no choice but to return to the blue town to stop this heinous crime, disguised as a ritual.
Driven by a desperate need to end the barbaric ritual that has scarred her for life, Kumud leaves Shekhar and the girls behind, but as she travels to the town of her youth, a place where superstition and prejudice abound, Kumud is forced to confront not only the stubborn mindset, that a widow is more valuable dead than alive, but also the past she believed she’d left behind. Can she convince the town that their centuries-old tradition is cruel and savage? Can she change the minds of the people and their elders before it’s too late?