The Love of Divena, Blessings of India Series #3   -     By: Kay Marshall Strom
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The Love of Divena, Blessings of India Series #3

Abingdon Press / 2012 / Paperback

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India 1990. In the final book of the Blessings of India series, Shridula, old and stooped at fifty-nine, makes her painful way to pay homage to the elephant god Ganesh, lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. "Why are we Hindus instead of Christians?" her seventeen-year-old granddaughter Divena asked.

"Because we are Indian," said Shridula.

So begins a spiritual journey for Divena as she struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1426709102
ISBN-13: 9781426709104
Availability: In Stock
Series: Blessings of India

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Publisher's Description

India 1990. In the final book of the Blessings of India series, Shridula, old and stooped at fifty-nine, makes her painful way to pay homage to the elephant god Ganesh, lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. “Why are we Hindus instead of Christians?” her seventeen-year-old granddaughter Divena asked.
“Because we are Indian,” said Shridula.
So begins a spiritual journey for Divena as she struggles against an entire culture to proclaim a faith close to her heart while rocking the world of two families.

Author Bio

Of Kay Marshall Stroms 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 includethe 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 www.kaystrom.com

Product Reviews

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  1. Yelm, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Different Kind of Book
    December 24, 2013
    ruthhill74
    Yelm, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I am only familiar with the nation of India due to the fact that I grew up in a church that supported a fantastic ministry in that country. When I think of India, I only think of Calcutta, but this book does not take place there. The history I learned in this book and the understanding I gleaned from its pages were truly the highlight of my reading this book. I had heard of the caste system being against the law, but I had no idea that the rich still did their best to circumvent the portions of the law that did not favor them.

    The story and the characters truly failed to capture my attention beyond the historical aspects. While the author's writing style is free-flowing and fairly easy to read, I was not captivated by this book as I thought I might be. But it is hard to judge since this is the final book of the series, and I have not read the entire series. While this final book in the trilogy could be read on its own (like I did), I think I struggled some because I had not read the first and second in the series.

    I was horrified to discover that even in 1990, lower-class people in India were treated so very badly. I was shocked that the higher-caste people could relate to him, even though it was clear that he was uneasy. If you're looking for a book that may help you to understand India's recent history, this is the book for you!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent men.
  2. Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love of Divena is a story of struggle & prejudice
    October 18, 2012
    Blooming with Books
    Bloomer, WI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Love of Divena

    The Blessings of India 3

    By Kay Marshall Strom

    Though the law has forbidden it, the lowest class is still held in servitude. The Untouchables are being held down, forced by the wealthy to become bonded laborers. Education of any form is frowned upon because the downtrodden might become emboldened.

    This is India and the love of her grandmother has given 17 year-old Divena a spirit that longs for freedom. Divena is determined to not be an Untouchable. But Divena is not the only one who feels this way.

    But centuries of Hindu tradition are not easy to overcome and the Varghese family is determined to hold their place as landowners. But within the family a new generation is struggling to determine its course. Eldest son Sundar is despised by his father because he speaks against the old ways. Meanwhile Sundar's brother Jeevak feels entitled to using the bonded laborers in any way he sees fit. But when Jeevak and his father Ajay punish a married couple who refuse to be abused, they awaken simmering feelings of unrest among the laborers.

    When a professor comes to the outcasts he teaches them to read and to understand the new laws that offer them the chance to improve their lives. He also teaches that their strength comes from their unity, not violence.

    When Divena starts talking of the classes that the professor is teaching she stirs up gossip, angering Ajay Varghese. Ajay is determined to stop Divena's talk and tries to get her in his debt or buy her from her father. Divena in desperation runs away and stumbles upon a woman who is in the professor's classes. Maya hides Divena in a church hidden in a pepper forest.

    But the greatest change comes when the love of God and Christ comes into the lives of Divena and Sundar. Can the love of God change the heart of a Hindu nation? Only time will tell.

    The Love of Divena is a look at life in India and the struggle that even now the Dalit caste lives beneath. If you have ever been interested in India this is a book you must read.

    I received a copy of this title for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
  3. Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Love of Divena
    October 10, 2012
    MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I just finished this look into India's cast system. I cannot even imagine living under these conditions.

    Anjan has been dropped at her Grandmother's door...almost literally. Can you imagine naming your daughter "Fear"? Her Grandmother changes her name to Divena ,"Divine Blessing"!

    When you read what Divena's father has done to her younger sister, to make her a beggar...make sure you have tissues handy.

    I love the way some of the things work out in this story. Learning to read....is the answer. Also with the help of our Lord, a group of these people become Christians. What a difference believing in Him brings to their lives.

    To me this Caste systems sounds a lot like slavery in this country. Whippings, branding, beatings, and more! Such injustice.

    This is the third book in this series, but it can be read alone. Don't miss this eye opening book!

    I received this book through Pump Your Book Publicity Tours and the Publisher Abingdon Press, and was not required to give a positive review.
  4. Atascadero CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The best yet!
    August 17, 2012
    Jeanette Morris
    Atascadero CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Outrage does not die easily. Even when it is buried deep, it seethes and grows."

    Decades after European and North America women had declared themselves emancipated and worthy of equal rights, their counterparts in India suffer the indignities of the illegal caste culture and scoff at the concept of living life on their own terms. Except, that is, for a teenager called Divena, who refuses to accept her fate as a Hindu Untouchable.

    In Kay Marshall Strom's exciting conclusion to her Blessings in India series, she brings us triumphantly into the India of the late twentieth century and gives us a glimpse of how truth, knowledge, and faith can be the catalysts for change. People do hold on to the pain and outrage of mistreatment, abuse, and suffering. And when they channel their corporate outrage into resistance, anything is possible. Even happiness.

    Strom writes this story with passion. It shows on every page. The pacing is perfect and the multiple points of view are handled flawlessly. Her characters live and die and breathe and fight and love—and the reader is right there with them.

    I'm sorry the series is over—but I'm sure something equally enjoyable and inspirational is in the works.
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