Homeless Bird, by Gloria Whelan

Koly, like most other 13-year-old girls from India, is getting married. She has never met her husband, but she will leave her home and family forever to begin a new life with him and his family.

Yet Koly finds that the world she thought she lived in harsh and cruel. It lies, cheats, and steals her very life from her, piece by piece, leaving her without a clue as to what to do next. Her life has always been commanded by tradition, and it is out of desperation that she leaves it behind.


This book was fairly good. The plot had some twists I didn’t see coming. The best way to describe this book was blunt. The way their religion states what they do, no questions asked. The way Koly’s future simply is, not what it will become.

Koly is a great character. By the time the book is finished, you do feel close to her. That was probably the best part in the story, was Koly herself and the way she just plowed through life until the blade broke.

The author was very careful when writing the whole young-marriage thing. I wouldn’t have picked this book out myself because of that, but it was done in a way that doesn’t creep you out or is inappropriate.

What confused me the most was I thought this was a historical fiction novel. But it wasn’t; being third-world it felt historical. Then every once in a while it would throw in things that eventually brought you closer and closer to present day, until I had to let go of the idea that it was historical fiction and moved on.

There is one part towards the end of the book in which Koly is tricked into drinking an amount of alchohol, yet aside from that the book is fairly clean.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Violence: 2/10

Language: 0/10

Inappropriateness/Romance: 3/10 (aside from being married at 13, there was only a very little romance)


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