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The Hope of Shridula: Blessings in India Book #2 [Kindle Edition]

Kay Marshall Strom
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

India: 1946. Blessing Ashish murmured. Such a name for a man cursed by a million gods For forty-eight years, his family toiled as slaves in the fields of the high-caste Lal family, and all because of one small debt. Ashish and his family knew nothing of the hatred for the British seething around them, nor of the struggle for independence that simmered throughout India. At fifty-four, Ashish was old and worn out. His wife had died long before how many years, he had no idea. Even though he had four sons to work beside him in the fields, every day was a struggle to survive. Sometimes his only daughter worked, too, but she also cooked and cleaned and kept the clothes in repair. His wife had named the girl Shridula Blessings. Perhaps the name will bring you more fortune than it brought me, Ashish told his daughter. His words proved to be prophetic in ways he could never have imagined. And when the flames of revolt brought independence to India, they seared change into the families of Ashish and Lal.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Of Kay Marshall Strom’s 39 published books, four have been book club selections, nine have been translated into foreign languages, and one has been optioned for a movie. Her writing credits also include the Grace in Africa Series and the Blessings in India series. Her writing has appeared in several volumes, including More Than Conquerors, Amazing Love, The NIV Couple's Devotional Bible and The NIV Women's Devotional Bible, and The Bible for Today's Christian Woman. Her best-known book is Once Blind: The Life of John Newton, which is packaged with the recently released DVD Amazing Grace. She also has written several books with her husband, Dan Kline. Kay is a partner in Kline, Strom International, Inc., leaders in communication training. She currently lives in Eugene, Oregon. Learn more about Kay at

Product Details

  • File Size: 752 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00711WDCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Seems things haven't changed much for Ashish and his family now while still working as indebted servants in India since the first book by Kay Marshall Strom, The Faith of Ashish. Now many years later, Ashish and his wife Zia have only one surviving child remaining, a young girl named Shridula and for Ashish, it provides the only outlet of hope left in the world being one of the lowest castes of people.

Deemed by the higher castes as Untouchables, Ashish's family have spent 48 years serving out their families debt which it seems will never be paid. What's even worse is the treatment of the servants among the Lal family. Those living on the land are forced to work for the son of Mammen Samuel, Boban Joseph, who has personally vowed not to be a lenient as his father. He pushes them to work in the grueling heat in which people begin dropping like flies, forces to not pay them in their rice rations unless they work harder than in previous harvests, and worst of all, pursues his growing affections for the young girls especially young Shridula.

The only defense to keep Boban Joseph at bay is the threat from the pale British woman who works at the only clinic in India tending to the sick and wounded no matter what caste of people need help. She has even offered to keep the abandoned and orphaned children who have no where else to turn. It seems however that the new Dr. William Cooper and his wife Susanna want things run differently, casting aside the Indian traditions for those more favored among the British. They even removed Miss Abigail Davidson from operating the English Mission Medical Clinic and treat her as though she is feeble, weak and too old. They even offer to have her sent to more suitable housing preferable to people of her age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Because we should care! April 17, 2012
Kay Marshall Strom is on a mission - and I, for one, am glad to wave her banner. Our world is vast, the people who inhabit it are fascinating, and the issues surrounding injustices and inhumane treatment of our fellow citizens of planet Earth should matter. In The Hope of Shridula, second in Strom's historical fiction set in India, we are immersed into the time, place, language, culture, ideologies, struggles, hopes, fears, and uncertainties of India and her people--mostly her people--as they wrestle free of British rule in 1947. We all "know about" the caste system in that culture. But do we know how it feels to be an Untouchable? Do we know how a Brahmin and a Kshatriya (landowners, military, wealthy businessmen)dance around the formalities of their stations to ensure respect? What does Master Landlord do when his son decides to forego the overseeing of the family fields and slave laborers to join the Communists? And how does a young girl escape her fate as a field slave in a society where she is literally untouchable? How does she persuade her elderly father that they can be free in the New India?

If you read this book, you will know. And, you will also start to care. I guess that's a warning of sorts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope Amid Darkness June 1, 2012
By Becky
The Story. Shridula and her parents are members of the Dalites, or India's chaste of Untouchables, enslaved to a rich landowner because of a small debt her father's father owed. Trapped in what appears to be a hopeless situation, the world as they know it begins to unravel because this is 1946 -- the British colony is fighting for independence and then to accommodate the strong and varied religions influencing different people groups. Trapped by their economic circumstances, helpless against the powerful, and now squeezed by political forces that are ripping apart the fabric of society, Shridula and her family have few options until a surprising way of escape opens.

Strengths. Some Christian publishing professionals claim that American readers don't want stories about other peoples and other places. I don't know if that's true or not. I know I used to shy away from what I considered the "typical missionary story." Not that I'd read many. But in my mind they were predictable and unrealistic. They put missions in the very best possible light and told only success stories.

Forget all that with Kay Marshall Strom's work. Her novels are about real people facing real struggles. And she happens to be perfectly suited to write books about people living in underdeveloped countries, suffering hardship and abuse because of injustices they face. For years she's written non-fiction based on personal interviews with people throughout the world. She's been to India alone seven times. In other words, she's done her research in the best way possible, and it shows.

In some ways, though, you have to be ready to have your heart broken because of what people suffering at the bottom of the caste system go through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Upheaval in India December 9, 2012
By Amber
I enjoyed the first book in this series very much. It was such an eye opener to the caste system and what life would be like if born on the bottom. It is hard to imagine such hopelessness and drudgery, though I suppose it wasn't much different than the slaves the south used to have.

This second book begins with the story of Shridula, Ashish's daughter. I found this disappointing, as Ashish was a child at the end of the first novel, and suddenly he is grown and married with a teenage daughter. What happened as he grew up? What about his parents? Did they attempt any more escapes? Did they live to an old age?

No answers. It's as if a big black hole swallowed up all time from childhood to middle age.

The Hope of Shridula splits the spotlight between Ashish's family and his master's. A good portion is spent describing the politic and religious troubles and while I found this interesting, I enjoyed the simplicity and 'unheavy' nature of the first book to this one.

Well-researched and written with a fine hand, the author is talented and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Did not read the whole book, as I got bogged down.
The story was kind of depressing. I didn't read the whole book so can't tell whether the story would be uplifting
Published 10 months ago by angelique
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
I was reliving with the characters what It was like living in India in the 40's. It was horrible conditions the "Untouchables" lived in, but they had faith there would be... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Linda Byrd
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and informative
The 2nd book in a series that I have loved. The series gives a look at 3 generations of India culture and the hope each has for their children. Read more
Published on February 26, 2013 by D. Fuller
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hope of Shridula: Blessings in India
The Hope of Shridula: Blessings in India Book #2was gripping again as was Ashish the first book in the series. The injustices of Shridula and her family touch your heart. Read more
Published on September 11, 2012 by Elizabeth Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars India in uproar!
Man, India during the 1940s was a mess! Therefs tension all over the place! The Indians and the British are fighting, the Muslims and the Hindus are fighting, the Christians are... Read more
Published on August 16, 2012 by AddLibrarian
4.0 out of 5 stars There Is Hope!
This book helped me understand more about what has been going on in India in the politics and fighting and all the news, history and everything else combined. Read more
Published on July 22, 2012 by AudOneinAK
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More About the Author

I am a writer and speaker who loves learning about the world. And what better way to learn than to travel? My dear husband puts up with me... even accompanies me on occasion.

Of course, the more I learn, the more I want to write. And then I want to jump up on my soapbox and share all my insights and ideas.

For years I've been known as a writer of non-fiction. That's still true, but I am also having the time of my life writing fiction. Sometimes there is no better way to share a passion than through a rollicking good story! I just finished writing one historical trilogy, "Grace in Africa," (Book 1: The Call of Zulina, Book 2: The Voyage of Promise, Book 3: The Triumph of Grace). Now I'm working on the next series, "Blessings in India." What fun! It's like eating my chocolate dessert when I haven't finished my broccoli!

Come, explore the world with me. Together we'll strive to make it a better place.

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