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…
Today’s Tempted by… is this risqué sounding book, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Bali Kaur Jaswal, as recommended by Evelina in this post on her blog, Avalinah’s Books. Look at the cover! Take in the title! Why would you need any further incentive to buy the book than those two things? But, it was also the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick for March 2018, so now you definitely want to read it, right?
No? Am I the only person in the room with a giant girl crush on Reese Witherspoon?
Okay, so you need another reason to buy this book. Well read Evelina’s review, because she sells the book brilliantly. Her review is so in depth, prising out all the themes and issues and attractions of the book, without giving away any spoilers. I tell you, writing a review with this much detailed insight that is spoiler-free is a skill, nay a talent, and this is a masterclass in how to do it.
I love the sound of this book because it covers so many issues that fascinate me – what it means to be a woman, community, diversity, family relationships and finding a sense of self in a world that often makes no sense. From this review, it also sounds like it does it brilliantly, thoughtfully but with a sense of comedy. I’m sold, I don’t know about you.
If you have never stumbled across Evelina’s blog before, you absolutely must check it out. This review is a great example of the fantastic content you can expect. There is such a great mix of book reviews and topical discussion posts and her personality and passion for what she is discussing shines through in every post. I love her very individual and chatty tone of reviewing that makes her posts stand out; you know instantly who is writing them. Seriously, take a look, you’ll love her.
If you have been inspired to pick up a copy of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows yourself, you can buy a copy here.