The Pakistani Bride
Wild, austere, and magnificently beautiful, the territories of northern Pakistan are a forbidding place, particularly for women. Traveling alone from the isolated mountain village where he was born, a tribal man takes an orphaned girl for his daughter and brings her to the glittering city of Lahore. Amid the pungent bazaars and crowded streets, he makes his fortune and a home for the two of them.
Yet as the years pass, he grows nostalgic for his life in the mountains, and his fifteen-year-old daughter envisions a romantic landscape, filled with tall men who roam the mountains like gods. Impulsively, the man promises his daughter in marriage to a man of his tribe. But once she arrives in the mountains, the ancient customs of unquestioning obedience and backbreaking work make accepting her fate as the bride of an inscrutable husband impossible. Unfortunately, the only escape is one from which there is no return.
Prescient and provocative in its assessment of the plight of women in a tribal society in Pakistan, the first of Bapsi Sidhwa’s novels is a story of marriage and commitment, of the conflict between adherence to tradition and indomitable force of a woman’s spirit.