Author Tom Mathews Explores Poverty and Hardship in Old India

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“Devadasi, A Nun’s Story” is an authentic look into the tragedies of the Third World

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In India, “devadasi” is the religious tradition of marrying young women to deities, so they can serve the gods as temple dancers. With his newly published novel, Devadasi, “A Nun’s Story”, Tom Matthews reveals the startling truth of the impoverishment that plagues struggling families in India, and how many daughters have no other choice but to dedicate their lives to the gods in order to spare their families from the burden of financially supporting them.

The story begins with Rosemarie, an average Indian girl who goes to school and studies diligently. She enjoys talking with her friend Gladys and aspires to study at the university to become a doctor. Her father Antony works as a manual laborer, while her mother Anna is a simple housewife, they are both devout Catholics who love Rosemarie and do everything they can to support her. She is introduced to a handsome young man named Ouseph, Gladys’ cousin, and they take a liking to each other. They continue on seeing each other when, one evening, while they are alone by the river, Ouseph takes it too far and ends up violating Rosemarie.

Rosemarie discovers that she is pregnant with Ouseph’s child. Her family is shocked but they console her and, as the father, Antony, confronts the man responsible, however Ouseph’s wealthy father manages to keep him from being held accountable. Unable to do anything, Antony goes back home to his family, and works even harder to support his daughter and her unborn child. When the baby is delivered, there is another mouth to feed, and another child to clothe and shelter, but together the family tries to make ends meet. Rosemarie sees the difficulties her parents have to endure, as well as the fates of the other impoverished families around her, and realizes that only God can solve their problems. Silently, she contemplates a choice that will change their lives forever. To save her family, she must give up her hopes, her dreams, and all the things most important to her.

Devadasi, “A Nun’s Story” is a touching work that will resonate with readers of every stripe, as the story of Rosemarie and her family represents the story of countless daughters and families in the Third World. Though set in colonial India, the realities of Mathews’ novel still apply today as the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen, and as those on the bottom rung of society struggle just to survive each passing day.

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About the Author
Tom Mathews was born in a middle-class family in the heartland of the tropical Kerala State in India. He wrote and published articles in prominent magazines in Kerala, and wrote in professional journals following his immigration to the USA. His first novel in English, Ganga Puthri: Aparna’s Story, was widely acclaimed by the Indian community in the USA, and Devadasi, “A Nun’s Story” is his second novel in English.

Devadasi, “A Nun’s Story” * by Tom Mathews
Publication Date: September 5, 2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 137 pages; 978-1-4797-0835-2
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 137 pages; 978-1-4797-0836-9
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-0837-6

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

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