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A Breath of Fresh Air : A Novel

Amulya Malladi, Penguin Books, 2003, pbk , 178 p, ISBN : 0143029924, $13.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

"On the night of 3 December 1984, Anjali waits for her army officer husband to pick her up at the train station in Bhopal. In an instant her world is changed forever. Her anger at his being late turns to horror when a catastrophic gas leak poisons the city air. Anjali miraculously survives. Her marriage does not.

A smart, successful schoolteacher, Anjali is now remarried to Sandeep, a loving and stable professor. Their lives would be nearly perfect, if not for their young son’s declining health. But when Anjali’s first husband suddenly reappears in her life, she is thrown back to the troubling days of their marriage with a force that impacts everyone around her. Her first husband’s return brings back all the uncertainty Anjali thought time and conviction had healed. As events unfold, feelings she had guarded like gold begin to leak way from her, spreading out into the world and challenging her once firm beliefs.

A Breath of Fresh Air resonates with meaning and the abiding power of love. Anjali’s struggles to reconcile the roles of wife and ex-wife, working woman and mother, illuminate both the fascinating duality of the modern Indian woman and the difficult choices all women must make."

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