Runaway Widow by Eva Bell- A Review
by Khurshid Khoree
Long after I had finished reading ‘Runaway Widow’ authored by Eva Bell, it kept me thinking about how after 67 years of gaining Independence from the British we are still so steeped into caste and creed differences even now in some parts of our villages across India.
Runaway Widow is set in the early years of India attaining Independence, when untouchability and slavery was at its peak in villages of India. Eva has described the feudal system, child marriages and the pain of being a child widow, bonded labour, ill-literacy, superstitions and spirit worship, very well in her story.
Tara a child widow is the oldest of her three sibling sisters, bright and interested in learning and eager to get an education which was looked down upon by the elders of the village.
She escapes from her village with the help of her mother who was scared for her daughter’s life and well being.
Runaway Widow is Tara’s story, about her plight in Bombay city, her triumph and success in getting the education she wanted in order to go back to her village and encourage the girl child to the right of education.
It’s her love story, though subtle and heartwarming. Her innocence, her trusting nature, her dedication towards the education she wanted, is very well narrated in an engrossing narration. All the other people she meets in the process, fit perfectly as the story progresses. Each one had a vital part to play in moulding her to her final destination.
The story has its exciting moments, mystery and suspense, but not in an over powering way. As I read on, I wanted to know more about the events which would come up. How Tara would handle herself and react to certain incidents she was faced with. It was definitely a page turner which kept my interest going, not wanting to put the book down. There are some interesting twist and turns to the story throughout the book and even though the novel has some 400 and odd pages, it still held my interest till the end. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family. **** More reviews about this book can be read here