Climbing the Stairs
by Padma Venkatraman
Fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of going to college – an unusual aspiration for a girl living in Britishoccupied India during World War II. Then tragedy strikes, and Vidya and her brother are forced to move into a traditional household with their extended family, where women are meant to be married, not educated. Breaking the rules, Vidya finds refuge in her grandfather’s library. But then her brother does something unthinkable, and Vidya’s life becomes a whirlwind of political and personal complications. The question is, will she be strong enough to survive?