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A Disobedient Girl
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SHE LOVED FINE THINGS, AND SHE HAD NO DOUBT THAT SHE DESERVED THEM. . . . Young Latha knows that she was not meant to be a servant. She was born for finer things, like the rose-smelling soap she steals from the family she has worked for since she was five, or the glasses of fresh lime juice she helps herself to after a long day. But the hard truth is that her life is tied to Thara, the family s spoiled daughter, and for the next thirty years they grow up bound by love, betrayal, resentment, and an impossible secret. Then there is Biso, a devoted mother of three, who risks everything to escape from her tyrannical husband. Though her journey begins with hope, she navigates a disastrous path that ultimately binds her story to Latha and Thara s in the most unexpected and heartbreaking way. Set against the volatile backdrop of class and prejudice in Sri Lanka, A Disobedient Girl is a bold and deeply moving tale about the will to survive and the incredible power of the human spirit to transcend the unforgiving sweep of tragedy."
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Ru Freeman's debut novel chronicles the trials and travails of two Sri Lankan women and their pursuit of freedom. Orphaned then absorbed as a servant into a well-to-do Sri Lankan family at the age of five, Latha Kumari grows up in tandem with the family's spoiled young daughter, Thara. However, Latha's mysterious origins and ambiguous caste ensure her a future of unpaid servitude in the Vithanages's household. Resentful, she involves herself with the man meant for Thara. This choice ultimately causes her loss and suffering. Alongside Latha's story is that of Biso's, who is fleeing a drunken abusive husband, a murdered lover and townspeople who whisper "whore" as she walks past. Biso escapes blindly to the salvation and promise of distant relatives in the north, but her journey with her three children across the country is tainted by murder and terrorism. The kindness of strangers runs out, but the end of Biso's tragic journey will end up being the promise of Latha's future. Freeman illustrates contemporary Sri Lankan life through the battles waged between lovers, friends and strangers alike in this study in dignity, strength of character, tolerance and perseverance. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A Disobedient Girl is a lush, sweeping epic about desire and betrayal, hope and perseverance. Ru Freeman is a fierce, unflinching storyteller, her landscape dark and beautiful, her characters unforgettable. I couldn't put this novel down." --Aryn Kyle, New York Times bestselling author of Boys and Girls Like You and Me and The God of Animals "Startling, subversive and heartbreaking, A Disobedient Girl offers a window into the lives of two unforgettable women. Read this novel for the beauty of the writing and the pleasure of discovering a uniquely gifted storyteller." --Danielle Trussoni, New York Times bestselling author of Angelology

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