When and where does the book take place?
Homeless Bird by Gloria Ann Whelan was published in 2000 and is set in contemporary India. It is the story of a young girl, Koly, who is living in a village in rural India. Her family arranges to have her married at the age of 13 to Hari Mehta. The Mehta family claims that Hari is sixteen but he is actually only 13. Once they get married, we discover that Hari has tuberculosis and that the Mehta family arranged the marriage so that they could use Koly's dowry to take Hari to the holy city of Varanasi, where he can obtain a cure by bathing in the Ganges River. The family travels to Varanasi, but despite following the prescribed rituals, Hari dies. Koly returns as a widow to the Mehta house. After Mr. Mehta dies, Mrs. Mehta travels to Dehli, but abandons Koly in Vrindavan, the City of Widows. At the end of the novel, Koly marries Raji and they move to his farm.