Mother Land: A Novel
On the morning her mother-in-law Swati comes to live with her, Rachel Keller finds herself in Mumbai, newly married and immersed in a culture she doesn’t fully understand. Rachel, a Jewish New Yorker with a passion for food and a deep sense of independence, or so she thinks, has no clue what to do when her new husband, Dhruv, explains that Swati is her to stay.
Mother Land is as much a treatise on what it means to belong to oneself as it is a story of two women from opposing cultures. Where Rachel wants to cook and clean for herself, Swati believes a cook and a maid are necessities. Rachel wants to live in harmony with her husband and equals, and Swati has always lived in the service of her husband Vinood. But Swati has arrived on Rachel’s doorstep because she is leaving her husband; she wants a life of her own, even if she has to take over Rachel’s life to get it.
Rachel and Swati clash as the men in their lives are absent. Dhruv is dispatched back to his home town of Kolkata on a work trip which puts him living in his childhood home with his recently abandoned father. In Mother Land, the women discover they are not so different and learn from one another a secret to happiness that surprises them both.
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