The women featured in the book Children of the Goddess: Devotion and Female Priesthood in Bengal live on the frontier between the tribal and the low-caste society in Bengal, and turn to religion in order to forge a new identity. Often rejected by their own community, and having lived through long and difficult personal crises some of them turn to religion to accultured identity. Some may succeed in becoming female priests, presiding over a Goddess shrine, having given up their femininity by ceasing to menstruate. As Parvati, the central personality of the book, puts it: 'Now I no longer need a child. I am the child of the Goddess', even as she innovates on the boundaries of Hinduism. The book provides a window to a little-known world where social marginality, subaltern assertion, the politics of gender, and the contestation between tribal religion and Hinduism merge to produce a unique perspective on popular Hinduism.