The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

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.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 530 pages

  • Reviews

Beck Valley Books

7 months ago

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.