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.
Read an Excerpt HERE.
Praise for the book:
“Three Bargains is 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
“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, it’s the archetypal rags-to-riches story made urgent and new again, this time in modern India.” ~Debra Dean, author of The Mirrored World
“As huge and sprawling as India itself, Three Bargains is an epic novel of a nation in transition and a man determined to ride the crest of its wave…a dazzling page-turner of heartbreak and hope.” — Ellen Feldman, author of The Unwitting
“This is the kind of novel one sinks into, forgetting everything but the story. Madan’s story begins in an Indian factory town controlled by a man both brutal and loving (imagine a South Asian Tony Soprano). The boy’s exotic and extreme circumstances simply magnify the kinds of yearnings most of us have—for love, safety, a good father—and the conflicts and compromises we all face.” ~Peggy Payne, author of Sister India
“Mesmerizing prose [and] heart-stopping action… both honest and astounding.” ~Publishers Weekly
"I loved this debut book. It drew out so many emotions in me as I read this story of poverty and great wealth, family obligations and family failures, love and hate, mistakes that must be atoned for and revenge that must be dealt. Madan fought for his life many times in the years this book covers, and it was a painful to see him go through so much. But it was equally painful to put the book down--his story is violent, triumphant and heart breaking, and it kept me up late into the night. This book takes you to a different world, a place that will stay with you for the rest of your life. What an amazing debut novel!"