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A Married Woman

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  533 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Astha has everything an educated, middle-class Delhi woman could ask for - a loving husband and affluent surroundings - and yet is consumed with a sense of dissatisfaction. She begins an extra-marital affair with a younger woman, the widow of a political activist and jeopardizes everything.
Published January 1st 2003 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Bhargavi Balachandran
I remember a few bloggers reviewing Manju Kapur's books positively and had wanted to pick something up by her for the longest time. My library had a couple of books by her and for some strange reason I was attracted to this book.Guess it had something to do with the fact that I was intrigued by the storyline- about a relationship an older woman has with a younger one and wanted to see how the subject's been handled by an Indian writer.

Astha is a middle class woman ,who lives in Delhi with her hu
Sep 06, 2009 Mab rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, borrowed
It was pretty disappointing. I had expected more from Manju Kapur. Its the story of Astha an ordinary middle class girl who has an 'arranged marriage' and then comes to know life is not a bed of roses. A few stereotypical issues are dealt with, with great bias. I am fed up that there should be lesbian sex in any book which vouches for woman uplifting. Can't women seem hep and forward and in control of their lives, without being lesbians or free-from-the-bond of marriage. I feel Astha has treated ...more
May 10, 2009 Roxana rated it really liked it
A few months ago I had the privilege to meet this wonderful young girl who chose to be a missionary and help poor children in India. She told me about her trips and experiences there and I realized that to my shame I knew nothing about the reality of this large country. As a result of our meeting I became interested in knowing more and I found this book in my parents’ house in Romania about India and its spectacular economic boom. I am not sure it is the best book ever written about India but I ...more
Feb 19, 2010 Maia rated it liked it
I wanted to read this after having thoroughly enjoyed Kapu'rs latest, The Immigrant--a better, far superior novel. Still, I enjoyed A Married Woman, the story of what Kapur transmits as a tyical Indian 'middle class' (is there truly such a thing in India?!) woman, educated at the same Miranda House all-female college where Kapur herself was educated and has taught for years, from less than stellar circumstances: basically, an only child with apparently clueless parents whose need to marry her of ...more
Mar 18, 2009 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third novel by this author I have read, and although quite readable, it is the one I liked least. Although I often felt sorry for Astha and came to dislike her husband, I just didn't come to care enough for the characters. It is a well written engrossing story - so I can't say I disliked it, it just left me a little cold. The majority of the book tells the story of Astha's marriage. Astha is dominated - to an extent - by her husband - she has more freedoms than many women - and in he ...more
Zen Cho
Aug 15, 2009 Zen Cho rated it really liked it
Oyo! /o\ I took a relatively long time to finish this because I got so stressed about Astha's awful marriage. It was like the beginning of The Blue Castle where Valancy is having a hell of a time and you hate her family's guts because they are so horrible. At least Kapur had the kindness to end her book at the same time as Astha's relationship with Pip, rather than forcing us to live out Astha's long miserable life. I hope it gets better later. I hope she earns sufficient money from her painting ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Pragya rated it liked it
It's a nice book dealing with controversial issues in a very sensitive manner & exploring the hidden power play between a married couple in the Indian context. I had a major issue with the plot though... One does not suddenly realize that they are bi- sexual or attracted to the same sex... The book no where explores with the protagonist's history of this realization ( The protagonist is a married woman here). Same sex attraction does not develop because of lack of affection at your home fron ...more
Anupama Sarkar
Jun 15, 2017 Anupama Sarkar rated it really liked it
While reading ‘A Married Woman’, I was awestruck with Manju Kapoor's sensitivity in dealing with inner turmoils and conflicts of a woman. The emotions she feels while growing up – the first flush of romance, the first stare of an unwelcome man, the total surrender to her lover and the frustrations of a married woman, who has seen it all and her desperation to trade her well settled life for an adventurous ride. Manju has deftly voiced the varied phases of a woman’s life in this novel. An engross ...more
Sehar  Moughal
Jul 23, 2017 Sehar Moughal rated it really liked it
Realistic enough. Engaging enough to read cover to cover in a couple of days.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Astha was brought up properly, as befits a woman, with large supplements of fear.’

Astha is an obedient middle-class girl growing up in Delhi during the 1970s. Her father wants her educated; her mother wants her to be settled into a safe, arranged marriage. While Astha’s family is not wealthy, they have hopes for the future. While Astha meets some males herself, and has a little more experience that her mother realises, she eventually agrees to an arranged marriage. Hemant seems kind enough.

Feb 15, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, however, it was a little sad. In 310 pages, you see Astha's life completely fall apart. She falls in love many times, but is disappointed in some way in all of them. The first one was just a crush, the second wasn't parent approved, the third lasted the longest but ultimately ended in unhappiness, and the fourth one wasn't necessarily society approved. Her relationship with Pipee was definitely the one filled with the most love, passion and desire, but because of wher ...more
Amruta Joshi
Sep 26, 2013 Amruta Joshi rated it really liked it
It super one..
The Books deals with various aspects of woman's Life related to Love Relations.The central character of Book is Astha.It protray's Astha's relationship with each male love interest at very stage life.she lives the as per wish of her parents n husband lifestyle.she is very content in her marriage.over a period she feels neglected by her husband.It also beautifully captures the issue related babri masjid.Aijaz character's introduces her to this issued n secularism.untimely death of a
Jul 08, 2013 Olethros rated it liked it
-Costumbrismo exótico, sensible, casi contemporáneo y femenino.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Astha es hija única y sus padres se han volcado en su futuro desde sus propias perspectivas y anhelos fruto de su religión, entorno y clase social. Una serie de eventos personales en la vida Astha durante sus estudios universitarios provocan que la supervisión de sus progenitores se vuelva más férrea y que finalmente concierten su matrimonio con Hemant.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers?
Aug 31, 2008 Jyoti rated it it was ok
Just finished the book. It started off on a realistic tone -- a teenage middle-class Indian girl dreaming of getting married to any boy who looks at her with any interest; then life of a married Indian woman who's trying to do justice to her roles as a wife/mother/professional and is quite surprised when encounters admiration or disappointed at husband's lack of empathy for her interests; but then it goes on a tangent when she finds love in a new found girl friend. That part dragged on beyond a ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Subha rated it it was ok
Finally a book of Manju Kapur that I did not really like. Somehow it did not go down well with me. On one hand the family is shown as a middle class family, but I could not digest a lot of expressions and happenings, it was anti-middle class. The story was not penetrating and I felt kinda cheated at the end of it. I felt asking for more.

But then again, it is the author's story. It is her fictional work. This is my take.
Pragun Ahimai
Jun 24, 2016 Pragun Ahimai rated it really liked it
The author kept me glued to the book, she writes well and that too in simple language.
few things remain mystery like affair of astha and aizaz, her constant headaches reason, and whthers she fell in love because of aizaz or true feelings.
But otherwise a good book.
I respect and am proud of women and love each n every angle of it.
Book throws light on some hidden corners which may exist in a normal happily married wives life.
Jun 17, 2011 Baljit rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book better now than when I read it ten years ago. I have read this writer's other novels- her theme centres on women and their conflicts.

The opening lines probably say it best:

'Astha was brought up properly as befits a woman, with large supplements if fear. One slip might find her alone, vulnerable and unprotected. The infinite eats in which she could be harmed were bit specified, but Astha absorbed them through her skin, and ever after was dream to the safe and secure.'
Rajnish Sharma
Feb 12, 2012 Rajnish Sharma rated it liked it
A poignant story of a married woman stranded at the crossroads of love between her family and Girl friend.Both are two different word in the same universe..where collision of both may trigger of far reaching consequences, tormenting all the life involved.Astha A married Woman bit confused but finely etched character which keep vacillating for Her duty, her love and her ideology . Very rarely character is portrayed , entrapped in the web of her sexuality.
A must read For Married woman
Akilesh Sridharan
Jan 26, 2015 Akilesh Sridharan rated it liked it
The storyline is bold and fearless but lacked the narrative instinct that is needed to up the ante of this novel. Manju Kapur should be appreciated for taking some bold topics of two women having an fling, Ram Janma Bhoomi, etc. and dealing with great precision. Editing might have been made quite tight.
Astha has everything an educated, middle class Delhi woman could want and yet she craves more than just being an obedient wife and mother. She begins a realtionship with a younger woman and her life takes a different turn. The ending of the book is what you might expect when she has to make a difficult choice. Good book in one of my favourite settings.
Apr 29, 2013 Jaenani rated it really liked it
briliantly written by Manju. Intense and its has been clearly shown the typical lifestype or a moderate indian family. Astha in between Hemant and Pipelika, the moments were truely captured by the author and written so immensely. The ending was pretty sad though but one of great story that I have ever read.
Jojo Krubally
Jun 19, 2015 Jojo Krubally rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I gave up on this book. sorry to say. I enjoyed her book "home" but this book was a great disappointment. I got totally bored and didn't even want to pick it up. Very slow story line and I felt no connection to the characters. This is going on my unfinished shelf.
Mar 17, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
Beautifully written story that details Astha's life as a daughter, wife, mother and lover...set in India throughout times of civil unrest. Challenges the reader to contemplate the nature of various relationships and issues of independence vs. control and how one woman struggles to achieve both.
Sunitha Prabhu
Oct 29, 2016 Sunitha Prabhu rated it really liked it
‘A Married Woman’ by Manju Kapor is the story is about how Astha changes from an unsure girl to a mature, middle-aged woman. Astha's husband was portrayed as an unrealistic person with excessive demands on his wife, which I suppose represents how a lot of Indian men were like in the eighties.
Arshad Mahmood
Jul 17, 2010 Arshad Mahmood rated it really liked it
Really good read. Depicts the struggle of asian women to stand up for themselves in the face of expectations from the husbands and the extended family.
Nov 29, 2012 MANISHA rated it did not like it
Shelves: do-not-read
boring .unable to finish the book
Jul 06, 2015 Truz rated it really liked it
Ankur Chawla
Mar 09, 2012 Ankur Chawla rated it really liked it
"awsome attempt to describe story of a typical middle/upper middle class indian women...nice story line..."
Oct 25, 2016 Jazs rated it did not like it
Just not my cup of tea. Totally misleading blurb. Nothing happens, literally I was anticipating a Shamin Sharif type book but this was so dull. I forced myself to finish.
Jul 16, 2011 Serwat is currently reading it
Good read ..
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Manju Kapur is the author of four novels. Her first, Difficult Daughters, won the Commonwealth Prize for First Novels (Eurasia Section) and was a number one bestseller in India. Her second novel A Married Woman was called 'fluent and witty' in the Independent, while her third, Home, was described as 'glistening with detail and emotional acuity' in the Sunday Times. Her most recent novel, The Immig ...more
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