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Ladies Coupé

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  2,433 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Meet Akhila: forty-five and single, an income-tax clerk, and a woman who has never been allowed to live her own life - always the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the provider - until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to the seaside town of Kanyakumari. In the intimate atmosphere of the all-women sleeping car - the 'Ladies Coupe' - Akhila asks the five women the que ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Irene
a ladies coupe is a special room with second class reservation for overnight trains in india. this book is about six women (the "I" changes depending on the story teller) who met each other inside that coupe. (a coupe, my housemate told me this morning over breakfast, is a car body type that has a fixed roof among others; a convertible coupe has a moveable roof but still has the rigid structure of a coupe.) the novel opens with this: "this is the way it has always been: the smell of a railway pl ...more
Prash
full of cliches. the prose is un-illuminating. the stories of the five women are so banal one'd almost shudder to meet them in real life. supposed to be a text -book for writing in univs. as interesting as a textbook really.
Jill

3.5 stars

Up until 1998 there was a reserved compartment for women on trains in India called the Ladies Coupe. Hence, the title. Akhila is in her forties, unmarried and unfulfilled, supporting her mother and family. She decides to take a train journey. Akhila wants to know can a woman's life be complete without a man? Five other ladies share the Ladies Coupe with her. Each of them have a story.

I liked this a lot, a sort of Indian chick-lit or women's fiction. Each of their stories was relatable
...more
PSmith
I had great expectations for this book and have waited for almost a year or more to read it. Finally when I laid my hands on it, somehow it let me down.(And co-incidently I read it during a train journey, but not in a ladies coupe. ) It links the lives of 6 women from various backgrounds who happen to be in a ladies coupe of a long distance train. And as expected, their lives are not beds of roses. Except for one or two, all had quite okay lives from Indian standard, and the common thing they ha ...more
Sally
Wonderous kismet library find, this book. Glad I stumbled across it while shortcutting through the "N" aisle. Picked it up because of it's pretty and colorful paperback spine, to be honest. The book lived up to all the glowing GR reviews and back cover promises.

Tells the individual stories from first person point of view of every one of the five ladies sharing an overnight car on the Kanyakumari Express from Bangalore, India. Overarching story told from the perspective of Akhila, arcing from he
...more
Prerna
The premise is interesting. Six women travelling in a ladies coupé, each taking turns to tell the story of their rebellion and their subsequent empowerment. But the book didn't really wow me. It kept me hooked, but even while I read it, I kept feeling that this book could have been written so much better.
First of all, all the six stories seem to be about the same thing in the end. How someone/something tries to keep these women down, how they refuse to be controlled and suppressed, how they face
...more
Eleanor
This is a tremendous book. It is the story of Akhia, a 45 year old Indian woman, and how she becomes her own person after a train ride in a Ladies Coupe (sleeping car) with other women who in the space of night change Akhia's life by telling their stories, but reminding her she must think for herself. A VERY, VERY good book
Olesya
Predivan roman koji nam otkriva priče i sudbine žena koje putuju zajedničkim kupeom. Središnji lik romana je Akhila, žena koja je u svojoj 45. godini zaboravila što znači biti žena. Životne okolnosti su joj dodijelile ulogu skrbnice, hraniteljice svoje obitelji, braće i sestara. Osjeća da još ništa nije postigla u svom životu, a da joj život polako izmiče iz ruke. Sjeda u ženski kupe u kojem služa priče svojih suputnica i pokušava donijeti ispravnu odluku, krenuti ispravnim putem, te po prvi put ...more
Margaret
Broad concept of the book is interesting, but the actual text fell short with some parts feeling forced, bits of prose being too predictable and the ending too cheesy. Still, a few isolated scenes, phrases, and analogies made the book worth the very quick read. One of my favorite parts was the author's illustration of characters using the properties and potential reactions of various chemical elements and compounds. Perhaps better as a movie?
Ms. Gee
Nov 04, 2008 Ms. Gee is currently reading it
So far, this is a wonderful book. This is one of those books that I actually picked up a few years ago, started reading (probably on vacation) and just never finished. I'm now getting back into this classic story told thru the eyes of an Idian woman, but a classic story that can be seen/told around the globe. Def. a book that you want t curl up with and continue reading as the hours pass! :)
Didi
Ladies Coupé is the story of Akhila and six other women that she meets on the train. Akhila is searching for the answer to the question ‘Can she live alone?’ Traditionally in Indian culture women are supposed to get married and if that doesn’t happen their only other alternative is to live with family. Akhila has been the breadwinner of her family since the death of her father when she was in her early twenties. She worked providing financial support to her mother, younger brothers and sister as ...more
Melissa
Jan 11, 2008 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beth, jax, shannon
I really enjoyed this book. Nair provides several snapshots of the lives of several Indian women who have struggled to find themselves in an extremely rigid society. Her language is quite lovely, and each woman's story compells you to read further. I'm left feeling grateful for the choices available to me, and reminded that many obstacles are common to all women.
Rachel Penso
This book was a window into the Indian culture. One woman went on a trip, and on the train, she met five other women and listened to their life stories. It was interesting to read about the (fictional) lives of these very different Indian women.
Elisabetta
I was somehow disappointed from this reading. I've heard so many times talking about this book like something different from the "usual Indian fiction" and how intense and deep was this novel, that I maybe formed it in my mind like something different. I think that the plot is good: an unmarried Indian woman, after having took care of her family after the death of her father, finds herself different from what she would have been. She is still living with her younger sister - who has her own fami ...more
R.C. Bean
“The story of a woman’s search for strength and independence” claims the book’s tagline – at the risk of sounding cliché, Anita Nair has still used a powerful line to kindle one’s curiosity enough to decide to give this book a try. The cover page is arresting – kudos to the creator. The emotions that play on the faces are hard to miss.

The tale comprises of six women, battling life in their own ways, and their chance meeting in the ladies coupé of a south-headed train. Akhila – a 45-year-old bitt
...more
Olethros
-Feminidad universal, localización exótica.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. El viaje de un tren nocturno une a varias mujeres en una zona reservada para ellas. Akhila, nuestra protagonista, servirá de hilo conductor para que conozcamos más sobre sus diferentes compañeras de viaje y, quizás, sobre ella misma.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...
Hema
Picked this book on 5th July. while I was browsing through my recommendations on goodreads, I saw a recommendation for this book, and happened to get to this book that very week. The story is about a lady from a middle class family who is single and is now in her 40's feeling lonely. This setting of the novel is very neat, the author has done a really good job about bringing the intricate details about the setting on the family which resides in south India. There are other two characters Janaki ...more
Leonor
Uma história maravilhosa sobre as várias formas pelas quais a independência no feminino pode conduzir à felicidade numa sociedade e numa cultura em que tal é visto como desonra. Anita Nair constrói uma narrativa fluida e belíssima, capaz de desenhar personagens sólidas e ambientes pormenorizados.
Um romance maravilhoso.
Deepu George
People always have a tendency to peep into others lives especially us Indians. So we live in a cage of society thinking what others think if we do a thing a specific way and that is affecting our surf to freedom. Anita Nair in her book just ridicules these and tells the story hw the protagonist escapes the minds cave and finds freedom. A very good read . A totally diff way of story telling.... Go for it..... U may find the deeds of certain charecters hard to explain but the story holds together ...more
Piperitapitta
Un viaggio in treno in compagnia di altre cinque donne, compagne occasionali per una notte, nel vagone riservato alle ��cuccette per signora�� cui il titolo fa riferimento, �� il pretesto per Akhila, la protagonista del romanzo, per riconsiderare la propria esistenza sacrificata al bene della famiglia di origine e l'escamotage per l'autrice per tratteggiare i ritratti di sei donne indiane diverse tra loro ma unite dalla propria condizione - non proprio occidentalmente esaltante - di donne.
Donne
...more
Piperitapitta
Un viaggio in treno in compagnia di altre cinque donne, compagne occasionali per una notte, nel vagone riservato alle ��cuccette per signora�� cui il titolo fa riferimento, �� il pretesto per Akhila, la protagonista del romanzo, per riconsiderare la propria esistenza sacrificata al bene della famiglia di origine e l'escamotage per l'autrice per tratteggiare i ritratti di sei donne indiane diverse tra loro ma unite dalla propria condizione - non proprio occidentalmente esaltante - di donne.
Donne
...more
Sujatha
Though the fact that the women start blurting out the darkest secrets at the drop of a hat in an overnight journey is something hard to comprehend , it does bring out various moods of women and things are explained in a subtle way. Like the characterization in her previous books all the woman have this tinge of arrogance overbearing their other traits . Its a Book which need to be read without expecting much answers to life's immortal questions..
Musiquedevie
Forever a favorite novel of mine, this is the book I turn to whenever I'm feeling "stuck" in life. Following the awakening emotional journey of Akhila is inspiring as she learns from her past and from the other women such as Prabha Devi on the Ladies' Coupe to realize what she truly wants to do to take the reins of her life back.

Full of many motivating quotes, I have numerous pages of this book dogeared to keep them in mind and to heart. And this is coming from a reader who loves to keep her bo
...more
Viviana Cerqua
Ne sono entusiasta. Era tanto che un libro di uno scrittore o una scrittrice a me sconosciuta non mi emozionasse tanto. E' un libro estremamente femminile, in modo completo,toccando alcune delle infinite sfaccettature dell'essere umano "donna", quando questa condizione diventa estremamente difficile da vivere appieno.
Che coraggio che ci vuole ad affrontare la vita riconoscendosi nello specchio.

"Il prato a terrazzamenti risplendeva, inondato di sole e umidità. Praba Dhevi camminò sull'erba. I fi
...more
Chitra
A liberating story if there exists such a term. The book made me think over how, many a time what we as women consider living is mere existence. How much inner strength is needed to break free of the bonds of relationships, down the walls in our minds; was also something which this book made me to ponder about.
Elizabeth
Theresa, this is for you.... It was a rather interesting read, lots of short vignettes about people with one main character. I would have liked to know more about each character, but it was an interesting read about that culture.
Jairam Mohan
"Ladies Coupe" by Anita Nair chronicles the train journey of Akhila, a 45 yr old spinster who starts off on a journey trying to rediscover herself and find out what it is that she actually wants from her life. Each one of her co-passengers in the ladies coupe share their stories with her which go some way in helping her figure out her own life, her experiences and what some of her options were.

From Janaki whose life revolved around her husband and son to PrabhaDevi who had all that a woman coul
...more
Namrata
Nice book for women who desire know their true identity and self worth.. Especially indian women who are caught in the constant adaptation to the society as daughter, sister, mother, MIL etc..
Susan
Couldn't put it down! Each chapter tells the story of a different woman in the train compartment. Through them, we get a vivid portrait of India and the lives of Indian women.
suzy
May 24, 2007 suzy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women, people interested in India
This book rocked! I liked the differeing life stories of the women all assigned to the same train car in India. An interesting exploration of a single woman living in India.
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hmm 6 47 Jul 10, 2014 10:45AM  
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“Ali znaš što? ... Srce je staklena narukvica. Jedan trenutak nepažnje i cijelo je u komadićima ... to znamo, zar ne? Ali i dalje nastavljamo nositi staklene narukvice. Svaki put kad se razbiju, mi kupimo nove nadajući se da će ovaj put duže trajati. Kako smo blesave, mi žene. Trebale bismo nositi narukvice od granita i u to pretvoriti naša srca. Ali one ne bi tako lijepo uhvatile svjetlost ili zanosno zveckale...” 3 likes
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