The Defender of the Faith
Prakash Lothe, author
BEST MARATHI NOVEL AWARD OF 2017 BY GOVT. OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIA Almost everyone in the Shirodkar household knows Shyam is a doomed child. The family astrologer, who is never wrong, has predicted that Shyam will encounter three, near-death accidents and will not survive the third. The question is not if but when the event will happen. As he grows up motherless in central India, Shyam is treated like a stepchild. While fearing he will be starved, branded, and sent to an orphanage, Shyam matures within his small, poor family while the political and social upheavals of the century threaten to destroy all of them. As Shyam?s life journey leads him to a missionary college in Nagpur, he embraces Western influences that prompt him to question traditions and wisdom acquired through centuries. While Europe heads toward war, Shyam and his orthodox Hindu father become immersed in a moral struggle that erupts from a volcano of religious fanaticism and age-old traditions. Can the two men ever reach a resolution or will Shyam be left with more questions than answers and a void he will never be able to fill? Defender of the Faith is a powerful story of love, loss, resilience, and hope as an Indian boy comes of age and embraces Western values that cause friction between his father and him.