BOOK NAME: Homeless Bird
AUTHOR: Gloria Whelan
Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan is like getting stuck in a maze and thinking there is no way out of it, but eventually coming out and feeling relieved. This realistic fiction book shows that courage is always rewarding.
Koly, a 13 year old girl living in India is married to a boy named Hari by her parents. Hari is sick and dies soon after the marriage making Koly a widow which is considered inauspicious. Her life becomes miserable and all her dreams and hopes disappear. Koly has to bear the harsh scoldings of her cunning Sass or mother-in-law. To get rid of Koly, Sass slyly abandons her in Vrindavan, a city for widows. Here, Koly struggles to find food and shelter. Eventually she makes a living by using her talent of embroidery. Koly meets a hardworking and caring boy named Raji and makes many friends at the widows’ house where she stays. Her new life turns her grief into happiness, making her dreams come true.
I would suggest others to read this book filled with sorrow, pain, relief, and love. Homeless Bird shows many aspects of Indian culture and tradition such as arranged marriages and few rights for widows. I was able to feel Koly’s emotions because of the author’s clever use of similes. The title, Homeless Bird, is very appropriate for it symbolizes Koly’s journey through life. It is definitely an interesting book that you cannot put down once you start reading.