A Terrible Matriarchy-a Synopsis

A Terrible Matriarchy-A synopsis
“My Grandmother didn’t like me. I knew this when I was about four and a half.” These are the opening words spoken by Dieleno or Lieno, in short, the narrator and protagonist of   Easterine Iralu’s ATerrible Matriarchy.
A Terrible Matriarchy is Delieno’s story set in the mid 60s Nagaland, specifically in Kohima. The literal translation of this Angami name means ‘little errand girl’. The story describes the life of Delieno from the age of five to twenty three. When she is five years she is sent off to live with her disciplinarian grandmother Vibano who wants to train her up to be a good naga wife and mother. According to the grandmother, girls don’t need education, they don’t need love and affection, or time to play or even a good piece of meat with their gravy.
“In my time”, her grandmother would say,” boys never did any work because they had to look after the village and engage enemy warriors in warfare. The household that did not have a male heir was considered barren. They were always in constant danger if there was a war. The women would only have one male to protect them. That is why we love our male children so much and we give them the best of food.” It is no wonder that the grandmother dotes on her grandsons.
Delieno, or Lieno, the youngest and only daughter of five siblings is the darling of her parents and brothers. She resents having to leave her home to become the Dieleno or domestic help to her despotic grandmother, but she has no choice but to obey the wishes of her elders.
For the six years of her stay with her grandmother, she knows no rest from work or verbal abuse of her grandmother. Rising daily at dawn to fetch water from the village watering spot, cook ,clean, rush to school and back only to continue   endless other chores till bed time.

The novel continues as Lieno's life moves forward, she excels in her school, she loses 2 brothers along the way, one to sickness and one to alcoholism., Dieleno is...