Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman
A Novel

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Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family

Janet Laird's life changed the day she inherited her grandfather's house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son's arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors—Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant—and Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes is born.


About Betsy Woodman

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Betsy Woodman spent ten childhood years in India; studied in France, Zambia, and the United States; and now lives in her native New Hampshire. She has contributed nonfiction pieces and several hundred book reviews to various publications, and was a writer and editor for the award-winning documentary series Experiencing War, produced for the Library of Congress and aired on Public Radio International.
Published July 17, 2012 by Holt Paperbacks. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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When Indian-born Janet (Jana) Laird, the widow of an American missionary, inherits and then moves into an historical building in Hamara Nagar, she encounters both Hindu and Muslim neighbors including a kindly merchant, a newspaper editor, a philosophical tailor and various wives.

Mar 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortune...

Publishers Weekly

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Woodman’s debut novel (the first in a series) follows a quaint patchwork of characters living in smalltown India, with Jana Bibi at its center.

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortune...

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