Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ladies Coupe” as Want to Read:
Ladies Coupe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ladies Coupe

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,134 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
Meet Akhilandeswari, Akhila for short: 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 as ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2003 by Vintage (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
179th out of 645 books — 2,003 voters
Anu by Shabnam VasishtCreating a New Medina by Venkat DhulipalaTrain to Pakistan by Khushwant SinghAnu by Shabnam VasishtWe are like that only by Rama Bijapurkar
Understanding India
54th out of 80 books — 2 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Vani !
Aug 06, 2015 Vani ! rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can a woman live alone and be happy or does she always need a man to give meaning to her life? Through a prose that is as insightful and multi layered as it is thought provoking, the author questions a society that denies any happiness to a woman except that which comes to her through her family or her husband as if she has no identity of her own. Can a woman not seek out happiness on her own terms just as a man would? What about women who choose to break the canons of this society; are they con ...more
Sep 08, 2007 Irene rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 25, 2012 Prash rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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.
Syl. A.k.a Topo di biblioteca
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
Sep 01, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jill by: Kinga

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
Jun 29, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2015 Emanuela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scritto con stile scorrevole dove si alternano descrizioni ambientali molto colorate dagli oggetti in uso delle donne indiane, i sari o i fiori carnosi dalle tinte forti che contrastano con i grigiori dell'anima repressa delle protagoniste, che si raccontano le rispettive vite durante un viaggio notturno in treno.
Ciascuna soffre della subalternità sessista e lotta contro la povertà o il pregiudizio, non tanto diverso da quello che si poteva vivere da noi ancora nella metà del secolo scorso.
Jun 10, 2015 Book'd rated it it was amazing
To begin with:
One of the most sensitive family drama I have read in a long time.

I have been reading lot of rave reviews about Anita Nair's work since long. After reading the praise for the book at the back cover from around the world compelled me to buy the book without a single thought.

The Story:
This is the story of Akhilandeshwari aka Akhila, 45 year unmarried woman from a traditional family. She is a breadwinner for her family consisting her mother, a sister and two brothers after the death o
Jun 05, 2012 Prerna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ms. Gee
Nov 04, 2008 Ms. Gee is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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! :)
Nov 08, 2008 Eleanor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2015 Jyothsna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A number of things about this book may seem even alien to a non Indian reader or even to those in India who have been fortunate enough to be born into and raised in open minded circles. However, the women in this book make a decent cross section of women in India. All of these women have not broken away from social norms, they all still live within it to a certain extent, but have decided to give themselves what they most desire in whatever way they saw fit. This book brings out an inherent qual ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Elisabetta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: intense, recipes, life, indi
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
Jun 26, 2013 Olesya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Feb 16, 2014 Didi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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?
Jan 11, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 05, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lakshmy Chatterjee
Ladies Coupe is the second book of Anita Nair's that I have read, the first being Mistress. I love the way she writes. In fact, I think she is one of the best Indian authors we have today. She always weaves great stories around characters who have shades of gray. They are less than perfect, but you still love them for their imperfections. In fact, you root for their imperfections. In Ladies Coupe as well, the protagonist is Akhiladeswari, a spinster who has made sacrifices for her family. Somebo ...more
R.C. Bean
Dec 07, 2011 R.C. Bean rated it it was amazing
“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
Raksha Basav
Apr 28, 2012 Raksha Basav rated it liked it
Category : traditional family drama
Anita nair is said to be one of the finest feminist writers in Indian writing in english with an international reputation.”ladies coupe” is nair’s second novel and has been translated into more than twenty five languages around the world.

Overnight Trains before 1998 had a reserved compartment for women called Ladies coupe.

Meet Akhila, who is a spinster and leaves in a tradition bound atmosphere where people beleave ‘women can live and cope themself alone’.
Jyoti Babel
Meet Akhilandeshwari aka Akhila. 45 years old, spinster, an income tax clerk, a daughter, a sister, the only provider for the family after her father died. She has played all the roles all her life but she has never been herself. One day, she decides to shed off all responsibilities and buys a one way ticket to Kanyakumari, the southern most part of India, to be away from all the people she had known all her life, to find the ‘Akhilandeshwari’ which was lost somewhere in the midst of duties and ...more
-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:
Jul 13, 2012 Hema rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Valentina Accardi
Questo libro è stato una bella scoperta. Dà l'idea di come vivano le donne indiane e dei principi che regolano la loro società, qualcosa che è lontanissimo dal nostro punto di vista occidentale.
La storia di Akhila, la protagonista, è di volta in volta interrotta da quella di alcune donne che incontra sul treno e che le raccontano la loro vita, nel bene e nel male.
Bello davvero!
Jul 14, 2014 Leonor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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.
Akshay S Dinesh
I felt a bit bored in between. But, towards the end of it, I could read the book continuously. Interesting read.
Deepu George
May 11, 2014 Deepu George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vittoria Corella
Jun 27, 2015 Vittoria Corella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akhila è single. Single in India, meglio specificare. In India una donna single è come un elefante bianco: fa scalpore, attira l’attenzione, è troppo strana. Akhila ha dovuto scegliere: alla morte del padre, su cui contava tutta la sua famiglia, le hanno offerto il suo posto all’ufficio delle tesse. Akhila è diventata il capofamiglia, ma solo quando deve pagare i conti, deve ancora seguire i ‘maschi consigli’n dei fratelli, i quali, senza di lei non potrebbero finire gli studi o mangiare. Akhila ...more
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 che ri
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
hmm 7 55 Jan 08, 2015 04:42AM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Cuccette per signora di Anita Nair 1 4 Jun 09, 2013 06:34AM  
  • The Sari Shop
  • In the Convent of Little Flowers
  • One Hundred Shades of White
  • Bombay Time
  • The Forbidden Daughter
  • Bitter Sweets
  • Serving Crazy with Curry
  • Imaginary Men
  • For Matrimonial Purposes
  • The Hindi-Bindi Club
  • Tamarind Woman
  • Desirable Daughters
  • Haunting Bombay
  • Love and Longing in Bombay
  • Difficult Daughters
  • Secrets and Lies
  • Love Marriage
  • A Good Indian Wife

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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
“He was too smitten by his second wife and the sons she produced easily and regularly at eighteen-month intervals to bother too much about a daughter.” 1 likes
More quotes…