A tale of fathers and sons, the ties that bind, and the barriers of class that even love cannot break, Three Bargains is a stunning first novel, as potent, heart-stopping, and epic as Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.
By the banks of the River Yamuna in northern India, where rice paddies of basmati merge into fields of sugarcane, twelve-year-old Madan lives with his impoverished family in the town of Gorapur. Madan's father works for Avtaar Singh, a powerful and controlling man who owns the largest factory in town and much of the land around it. Madan's sharp mind and hardened determination catch Avtaar Singh's attention. When Madan’s father's misdeeds jeopardize his sister's life, Madan strikes his first bargain with Avtaar Singh to save her. Drawn into Avtaar Singh's violent world, Madan becomes his son in every way but by blood. Suddenly it looks as if everything will change for Madan and his family until a forbidden love affair has brutal consequences and he is forced to leave behind all that is dear to him. On his journey toward redemption, Madan will have to bargain, once, twice, three times for his life and for the lives of those he loves.
About the Author
Tania Malik was born in New Delhi, educated in boarding schools in the Himalayas, and raised in India, Africa, and the Middle East. She received her degree from the University of Delhi and currently lives in northern California with her husband, daughter, and dog. Three Bargains is her first novel.
Touching and deeply researched. . . . An impressive feat of storytelling. — Thomas Chatterton Williams
An impressive first novel. — Georgia Rowe
Madan’s is an adventure well worth joining. — Anne Morris
Mesmerizing prose [and] heart-stopping action . . . both honest and astounding.
Three Bargains brought back the dimly remembered pleasure of being swept up in the fast, deep waters of a great tale. Richly textured and morally nuanced.
— Debra Dean, author of The Mirrored World
A dazzling page-turner of heartbreak and hope. — Ellen Feldman, author of The Unwitting
Such a beautifully written book, full of moving, honest, indelible characters that make you hate to leave them by the end—an astonishing debut! Reading Malik’s first novel reminded me of encountering Toni Morrison and Louise Erdrich’s early fiction—you already see the promise of genius there. — Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife
The kind of novel one sinks into, forgetting everything but the story. — Peggy Payne, author of Sister India