Raise the Lanterns High
On the eve of her wedding in 1960s Trinidad, Vasti discovers that her arranged marriage is to the rapist she saw through a curtain of sugarcane stems 12 years earlier. Will she speak out, defying convention and thereby shaming her family, or succumb to tradition and silently submit to her fate? Terrified, she collapses and dreams the parallel story that runs through the novel where the three surviving wives of an 18th-century king in northern India are about to climb upon a burning pyre to fulfill the suttee, the traditional Hindu widow-burning custom practiced in India for hundreds of years.
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Apsara asked awaited beauty become suttees believe better blessed Brahmin bring brought child climb the pyre close comfort custom dance Datta daughter Devi Dr Mistry explain eyes face father favour feel felt ghee girl guru hands honour horses husband jewellery Kala Karan King Paresh King's Kingdom of Jyotika knew Krishnajee Kunwar Lakshmi Persaud late King leave lifted lives looked Manu marriage mind mirror mother moved Nadir offered once palace parents priests Prince Regent promise Pundit Baalaajee Pundit Krishna Punditjee Pushpa Queen Dayita Queen Meena Queen Renu Queens of Jyotika Royal Court Pundit Royal Family sacred Sakuni sandalwood Sanskrit Shami Shiva silence sindhoor Singh Sister Dayita Sister Meena Sister Renu sitar slave-girl smiled spirit Sujata Sukesh Walli sweet tell temple things thought told Trimurti trust Tunapuna Uncle Kash understanding Vasti voice walked wedding wish woman women young