Heroine Interview from The Love of Divena by Kay Marshall Strom

» Posted on Jul 31, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from The Love of Divena by Kay Marshall Strom

This week I’m hosting Kay Marshall Strom with The Love of Divena, Linda Rondeau with America II The Reformation (see below about giveaway) and Nikki Arana with The Next Target (giveaway for US only).  Linda Rondeau’s giveaway: if 15 or more original comments are left (not including Linda’s responses) she will award a copy of her award-winning novel, The Other Side of Darkness. If less than 15 and more than ten, she’ll give away a $5.00 Starbucks coupon.  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (August 5th) evening.

Interview with the heroine from The Love of Divena by Kay Marshall Strom:

1.  Divena, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I am a poor Indian girl with no family except my Ammama—my grandmother.  People do not call us “untouchable” as they used to, but they still look at us in the same way and treat us the same.  What could possibly be interesting about such a one as I?  Oh, but I do have a wonderful secret. Surely that secret is the most interesting thing about me.

2.  What do you do for fun?

Fun is not our way.  Not for outcaste women like me.  Except for my friend Selvi, that is. Her father has a friend with a television set. She says that is fun.  But here is what Selvi and I do: we walk to the next village and listen to the teacher.  Oh, what fun it is to discover a bigger world than I ever thought possible for my eyes to see!

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Meeting my father…  Being alone with him.  Ever.  I mean, if he could allow my sister to be blinded, if he could give her away and leave me alone on a stranger’s doorstep, what else might he do?  He wants to see me, I know, but I do not dare. Not if I can help it.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing my grandmother.  She is growing old, you see, and she is sick. What would I do without her?  My father would come and get me for sure.  Ammama tells me she is a Christian, but she also takes gifts to the Hindu goddess. She says she can be a Hindu Christian, but I know she cannot.  So here is my greatest fear of all: what will happen to my grandmother when she dies?

5.  What do you want out of life?

Peace.  I am tired of being afraid.  I am tired of being too poor to buy a ripe mango.  I am tired of hiding from my father.  I long for peace.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

I want to know for sure about God.  No one I know can tell me the truth about Him because everyone I know is afraid to ask.

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I have only one book:  the Holy Bible the missionary lady gave my great-grandfather Ashish when he was a little boy. He learned to read it, even though it was terribly dangerous.  He taught my grandmother to read it when she was young, and she taught me. We keep the Holy book safely hidden away.  No one must ever know we have it.

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would not be untouchable any more.  High caste people say my kind are of less value than the rats that steal our rice. But I am a woman, too.  Ah, then I am of less value than a cockroach. But the teacher says none of that is true.  He says all people, even ones like me, are God’s treasures.

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

No, no.  We could never afford that.  I wish we had a goat.  Then we could have fresh milk.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back to the days when my mother was still alive.  Back to when my sister sang as sweetly as a bird and brought back enough rupees to buy a whole pot full of rice for us to eat.  But if I went back, I would never have met my Ammama.  She would still be alone.  So I guess I do not want to go back after all.  No, it is better for me to keep the sunset behind me and my face fixed toward the rising sun.