In India, the dowry was ransom.
Bride burning was what happened when the ransom was not paid.
It’s 1971 in Delhi, India, and Maya is about to enter into the time-honored tradition of arranged marriage—a tradition that holds strong against modern ways. But no sooner than Maya’s father provides her agreed upon dowry to her fiancé’s family does Maya learn that she has just been traded into a deal deeply imbedded into Indian culture—a deal in which Maya is chattel. What will happen to her if the ever-increasing dowry demands are not met?
Maya embarks on a quest to find the root of the cruel customs that have seeped into the families, relationships, and minds of India’s people. Going against her prescribed destiny, she faces irate backlash and is hunted by her enemies. But when Indira Gandhi enacts new emergency measures in a forceful attempt to bring a chaotic country further into modernization, Maya finds an ally in her fight.
Can Maya change the course of Indian history despite the traditions fused into its identity? Or will she be drawn into India’s ancient spells?