The title is intriguing, isn’t it? Makes you want to dig deeper, isn’t it?
A small set of Punjabi widows are coaxed into signing up for a creative writing class led by Nikki, the 22 year old protagonist of this novel. The catch is majority of them do not know to write the english alphabets let alone taking a stab at creative writing in english. But who said one needs to know to read and write to be a creative story teller? So what was originally a creative writing class evolves into a creative story telling class. On the surface, these women seem to be timid, conformists, and gossip mongers but the erotic tales that they spin shatter the stereotypes, and unleash the unfamiliar and unexpected sides of their personality and personal lives. Through these storytelling session , not only the widows but also Nikki find their voices, their place in the society, and break free from the shackles that society imposes on them.
This is a story of immigrant acceptance and assimilation, of identity differences between first and second generation immigrants, of complicated sibling and parent relationships, and of a small neglected and written off subgroup of the Punjabi community in a suburb of London. Most of all, it is a story of women empowerment and finding the courage to be the change you want.
I found the side stories of this novel a little distracting and a tad Bollywoodish but it was a small price to pay for a novel that was at its core funny and thought provoking. Grab this book, it is worth a read.