Sep 30, 2011

The Faith of Ashish by Kay Marshall Strom

India 1905: A simple drink of water changes Ashish’s family forever. When he – an Untouchables who must never contaminate the world of the higher castes — innocently drinks from the wrong well, he is badly beaten. Knowing his son needs a doctor, which requires money, Ashish’s father ventures into the dangerous realm of the high caste to beg the wealthy landowner, a Christian, for a loan. He gets the money — along with a life of slavery for himself and his family. But the landowner does not understand the strength of a father’s love, the power of a young British nurse who could not forget a boy named Blessing — or the faith of a child.

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It is so hard to imagine how someone labelled as one of the "Untouchables" would feel. I will never forget several images vividly portrayed in this book. Firstly, of Ashish's father trudging down the road with a hand made broom attached to his back, dragging it in the dirt to remove any evidence that he had been on the road. Secondly, imagining how he felt with a tin cup tied over his face so his breath and spittle would not contaminate the air of the higher caste people.

I love discovering other cultures through stories like this, but the unfairness and cruelty of life in this book is a real eye-opener. This story grips at the heart, and makes me feel so grateful for how things are in my life.

I couldn't help but admire the determination of little Ashish, and his parents were exceptional role models. When things were almost unbearable, their love for each other got them through the hard times. They were willing to risk everything, even their lives, to ensure a better future for their son.

I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading future titles in the Blessings in India series.

Disclosure: Ebook purchased through I was not compensated for my thoughts.

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