Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth

young_201.jpgLeela is a thirteen-year old girl living in India in the 1940’s. Her family is wealthy and of the highest social cast, so Leela lives a life of luxury compared to the many thousands of poor people in her country. When she was nine years old, she was married to a boy in her village and will one day go and live with him and his parents. But for now, she remains at home with her own mother and father, dreaming of the joys ahead.

One day, Leela’s young husband is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies. Now Leela, who has never spent even a single minute alone with her husband, is a widow. According to Brahman tradition, she must shave her head, wear only the simplest clothing, and stay in the house for a full year after her husband’s death. She can no longer attend school. For the rest of her life, she must remain in mourning. She’s forbidden from ever marrying again.

Keeping Corner is the story of Leela’s first year of widowhood. Is her life really ruined? Or can she possibly find purpose and happiness in the face of such tragedy?

1 Comment

  1. Grace Peter1 said,

    June 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    This book seems so far from our world because the extreme culture and traditions in India in the 1940’s compared to the U.S right now. I think Leela doesn’t have to stick to mourning for the rest of her life because everyone needs freedom to do something spontaneous. To take away that privilege so early in her life isn’t what anyone’s future is meant for. I think everyone has been trapped mentally, socially, physically or even like Leel through tradition and family.
    Grace P.1 Period 1 Purple

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