Every woman has a secret life…
When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals.
Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.
East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life…
A Fruity Read – in more ways than one!
I was attracted to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows firstly by the vibrant cover, then the blurb promised humour so I decided to give it a go. And I am so happy I did. This is definitely a ‘something different’ read and the stories, whilst the hub of the story, are far from the whole novel. This book is stuffed full with a mystery – which you don’t actually realise is a mystery until the final few pages – an insight into Sikh communities and a real understanding of the lives of these women and how tradition and honour dictates how they live on a daily basis along with the pressures of change.
I feel I have learned so much I didn’t know before, and yet it is all wrapped up in a very funny and eminently readable novel. What a fun read! I now have such understanding and empathy with these women, and I think it must have been a very hard book to write yet Balli Kaur Jaswal has managed to hit all the right notes and has produced a wonderful read which, all things being equal, will mean she has a bestseller on her hands.
A full and completely satisfying read and one which I wholeheartedly recommend – your mind, if not your life, will be all the richer for it.
I received an arc via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: women, humour, cultural
This is Balli Kaur Jaswal’s debut novel.