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

French Lover

2.98  ·  Rating Details ·  475 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
A woman's search for love and independence in a strange city far away from home. French Lover is the story of Nilanjana, a young Bengali woman from Kolkata who moves to Paris after her marriage to Kishanlal, a restaurant owner. Kishanlal's luxurious apartment seems to Nilanjana to be a gilded cage, and she feels stifled within its friendless confines. Her marriage, where s ...more
Paperback, 293 pages
Published 2002 by Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 28, 2013 Anamica marked it as kroyanns-2013
This kind of a book or rather story i should say, is not expected from a wonderful writer like you.
This book is frankly a huge disappointment, especially for your fans.

If you ask me what went wrong with the story, then my answer would be 'a woman is not a dumb mindless selfish slut' as portrayed in this book.

I agree with you that A WOMAN is physically weak, but that is over-come by her mental strength and her instincts. A female intuition is her biggest strength- which protects her from evil, he
Oct 27, 2014 Madhura rated it did not like it
There is only one word that comes to my mind if I have to describe 'French Lover'- VAGUE.
Written by Taslima Nasrin, French Lover, is a story of a young, spirited girl's search for independence and love in a foreign land. Nilanjana or Nila as she is often called in the book, is a Bengali girl from Kolkata. She moves to Paris after she marries Kishan Lal, a restaurant owner. However, she feels trapped and suffocated in her loveless marriage and yearns for independence. Nila is nothing more than a
Mar 20, 2013 Nirmala rated it it was ok
This is how I would like to describe the book.
The character of Nila has been sketched so poorly, that you cannot exactly understand her till the end.
In one part of the book she is a timid Bengali girl with chapped lips, who judges people on the basis of their color. She talks in a friendly way with the whites but is hostile towards black and browns (let me remind you she herself is a brown Indian girl).
On the other hand Taslima shows her as a well-read woman. She knows even the tinie
Sheetal Maurya (Halo of Books)

After reading famous and controversial novel 'Lajja' I seen this book in a rack of the library so quickly picked it up. As it is expected this novel is based on woman.

Plot summary:

Nilanjana (Nila) is a modern Calcutta girl who has her own experience from society and family. Betrayed by her lover Sushant, her family married her off with an NRI named Kishanlal. Although she was not happy with this decision, but she dreams a better, happier life in France. She wanted to explore Fran
Sowmya's book world
Jun 10, 2015 Sowmya's book world rated it it was ok
Shelves: lady-don-2015

as the title of the book could be so persuasive , i thought it could be a fight of women facing the difficulties and walking against the male dominating society to be a independent but sorry to say book disappointed me beyond my imagination.

A women goes to paris after her marriage to live with her husband. She is a educated and strong minded girl( as book calls her). She doesn't accept the way her husband treat her, merely a maid an
Aug 29, 2012 Priyanka rated it liked it
A good one!! An Indian woman's tryst with disillusioning relations & isolation, the mental & physical oppression faced by an unfortunate section of the repressed women of India's middle class, hypocrisy & regressive mindsets of Indian society esp. MEN, & the self-absorbed culture of the West!! Thbook has some failings though!! The consistent theme : All men are the SAME!!( & definitely not in a positive sense!) The way the protagonist claims her personal freedom towards the c ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Prathap rated it it was ok
The book is more of the author's interpretations of how men are. Funny how all women are portrayed as saints and all men short on character. Hope the readers discern reality from the author's world view.

That apart, the book is just about ok. The characterizations are not necessarily strong, and is filled with stereotypes (the author's portrayal of French, for example). Nor is there any evidence of literary genius. Having said that, it is not boring, at least. I could sit and finish it at one go.
Jun 17, 2012 Shirvani rated it did not like it
The blurb may lead one into expecting a typical south-asian-immigrant-problems narrative,sadly the book is anything but that.
French lover is the story of Nilanjana Mandal, an educated, Bengali woman who marries and emigrates to Paris with a Punjabi restaurateur when rejected by her high caste college sweetheart. Her husband 'keeps her well', with a roof on her head, food in her stomach and clothes to cover(yeah, right) but doesn't allow her to venture out or work. After several heartaches, bre
Mar 18, 2013 Manashree rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: It is highly recommended for all the male readers who want to know what goes on in a woman’s mind.
The book French Lover by Taslima Nasrin speaks more than just about French lovers. It actually speaks the mind of a contemporary, educated and independent Indian girl desperately seeking her place in the world. Her journey and bold moves on one hand make you feel very liberated but on the other, I found her unreasonable at times. Even though she seemed very highly learned, some of her moves defied reasoning altogether. Seeking independence is a good thing but knowing where to draw the line for o ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Reema added it
Shelves: did-not-like
did not have a pleasant experience reading this. found it disgusting! too feministic.
Jincy Thomas
Jan 15, 2017 Jincy Thomas rated it really liked it
I owned this book for quite some time now. I read Lajja by Taslima Nasrin and I couldn't get my mind made up for a serious read. But I was wrong.

I loved this one and reminded me a lot of the writings by Madhavikutty. I just couldn't keep the book away until I completed.
Tanjina Tamanna
Sep 21, 2016 Tanjina Tamanna rated it liked it
i enjoyed reading it but the ending was a bit confusing to me why he left that man .IT's true it's completely her choice but as a reader maybe i was searching for a reason .Middle part was little boring otherwise it's a good book in my opinion
Surabhi Sarkar
Taslima Nasrin is as usual bold and unflinching with her words and accounts, there is no pretending and there is no hiding. Though I doubt women these days, the kinds of Nila, a doctor’s educated and polished daughter from a city like Calcutta, would be as easy. The situations thrown are basic and lifelike, finding out ways through them are also no adventure, so the book isn’t moving for that matter. Most of the story speaks the truth about the rudimentary lifestyle of an Indian homemaker and ho ...more
Danial Tanvir
Sep 21, 2016 Danial Tanvir rated it it was amazing
i really enjoyed reading this book after reading her last book"lajja".
it is actually about a bengali girl called nilanjala who goes to france for an arranged marriage to restaurant owner Kishanlal and she starts living in paris and she is nothing more than a sex object and she is not happy with her husband, she wants there to be some one who could love her.
so she finds a guy called Benoir Dupont who she finds in love with and he makes her happy and then they start having a sexual relationship wi
Krithika Saptarishi
Apr 20, 2015 Krithika Saptarishi rated it it was ok
This book is SO vague. Its gives people wrong perceptions about both men and women. Although I agree with her portrayal of the Indian society, I don't quite agree with her views on men. Not all men are the same. Not all of them dump women and view them as mere toys for their personal and sexual gratification.
And not all women are 'dumb mindless selfish sluts'.
The character of Nilanjana Mandal is so shallow. How can a woman just let a man ravish her without putting up a defence?
I had huge expecta
Sarath Thampi
Aug 13, 2013 Sarath Thampi rated it it was amazing
I read a translated version of Taslima Nasrin's French Lover and I was totally bowled over by it. The protagonist of the story, Neela's entry to a foreign land and her initial cultural shock is portrayed brilliantly. The view of French psyche through a Bengali's eyes and vice versa is done in a deep as well as in a relatable way. However the main theme of the story is something else. It is a question of whether a woman will be treated as an equal ever by a man. Every male characters that appear ...more
Shashikant Muktyar
Jan 30, 2015 Shashikant Muktyar rated it it was ok
I was left perplexed at the end. I couldn't find a reasoning behind calling Benoir selfish.
Anyway, the takeaway from this book seems to be, for me , at least, is don't marry someone financially dependent on you, because they will have an inferiority complex about themselves, which they will (might) use to put the blame on their significant other in case you give your opinion to them. The author hides it ,very craft fully till the climax, but in reality you will see it easily.
Also, don't invest y
Mar 06, 2010 Monika rated it it was ok
The French lover is primarily a story of “Nina” a bengali woman who married a Punjabi guy to get away from her country, to get away from a lot of memories she can’t deal with and hoping that life will become beautiful with that.

However reality is totally different and instead of enjoying Paris she is confined to her house and treated almost as a maid and an object to satisfy the physical needs of the man

Read the full review here...
Aug 01, 2016 Puja rated it it was amazing
I simply adore the way the author has portrayed the protagonist in different situations of life. Yes, it is the story of the journey of a woman from Kolkata to Paris. She finds out that there is no true love and it is just the change of bodies. Her struggle in India shows the other side of the society where women aren't considered equal as men. Poor lady! The lessons of life are tough but she continues learning till she reaches the saturation point.

A perfect read for someone who wants to be self
Ashani Irunika  Hettige
May 12, 2012 Ashani Irunika Hettige rated it really liked it
I don't consider Neela as a good contended woman(falling in Love and intimate relationships).I don't say she is a slut. But when she doesn't get what she's expected( from ex-boyfriend to her married man)she has gone wild..even lost her hopes about a happy family. I think its not her fault but the society she grew up has the 75% of fault there. It shows the contemporary Asian societies where intimate relationships are rarely spoken. Taslima has outlined it perfectly.But after all here also we see ...more
Bima Choudhury
Mar 23, 2013 Bima Choudhury rated it it was ok
Shelves: fictions
Although i finished reading the book, I couldn't fathom Nila's character and her mind set. She is so confused, so much immature and she was everything which i don't like in a woman. Everything she did, i felt she was out of her mind. Coming from Taslima Nasrin, i didn't expect anything like this. An utter disappointment....
Ramya DRozario
Jun 30, 2015 Ramya DRozario rated it did not like it
The feminist concepts seemed too forced into the storyline, and the character, Nila, begs for some warmth. Maybe she was meant to be like that, a little cold, but other characters seemed to have more depth than her.

The narrative is palatable, slightly insipid at times. Maybe because it's a translation.
Mar 18, 2010 Sreyashi85 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. I loved the book. She has written it to aptly,so well. Even the the difficulties of her life in Paris are shown with such subtlety and when she talks about the men and how universally men are. I love the character of the woman protagonist here. I have re read this several times. Felt contented after having read a book after very long
Saranya Kavitha
Jan 06, 2014 Saranya Kavitha rated it really liked it
it is a new experience!there is a new world outside my present world.culture,attitude,behaviour,...everything differs from our current society. Eventhough there are many positive side in their culture,our society is the best when we come to marital life.there are so many things in this novel.anyway it is worth reading.
Jul 25, 2010 Rujuta rated it it was amazing
this book changed my life upside down seriously back in 2008 i was in luv with so calld guy for almosy 7 yrs tho he wasn nt evn committing abt anything ...this was eye opener i gathr guts to dump him ....!!!!!
❤ Divya
Oct 19, 2014 ❤ Divya rated it it was ok
This one is a cold book with an illogical ending. I don't think Benoir loved just himself. It seemed like it was Nila who loved none but herself. There were no evidences in the story to justify the irrational ending.
Nov 17, 2015 findingnimi rated it did not like it
Didn't meet expectations. Neither the story nor the presenation was appealing. What the writer wants to convey,what the main character actually wants was not clear. Though I completed the book, but still the character is not at all clear.
May 23, 2011 Fatty added it
an osum book....
abt a woman's a nw country
Hardeep Nagi
Nov 27, 2012 Hardeep Nagi rated it did not like it

Rubbish, did not expect that from Taslima. This is one of those books which leave you very angry at the end. Characters did not grow, stuck there, no plot, utterly useless.
Dec 02, 2014 Helmali rated it did not like it
Shelves: asian-literature
Was a waste of time for me. The story lacked flow and felt like an amateur has written it. When it said Taslima Nasrin I thought will be a good read. Pathetic.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Immortal Words: History's Most Memorable Quotations and the Stories Behind Them
  • Socialite Evenings
  • The Giniralla Conspiracy ; Five Journals of Sujatha Mallika
  • Coolie
  • Rajmohan's Wife
  • The King of the Fields
  • অরণ্যের দিনরাত্রি
  • The Serpent and the Rope
  • පොදු පුරුෂයා
  • ঝিন্দের বন্দী
  • සුදු වැද්දා
  • Indian Takeaway: One Man's Attempt to Cook His Way Home
  • මළගිය ඇත්තෝ
  • A Fine Family
  • ফিঙে
  • সুবর্ণলতা
  • Classic Ruskin Bond: Complete & Unabridged
  • Shrimad Bhagvad Gita
Taslima Nasreen (Bengali: তসলিমা নাসরিন), an award-winning Bangladeshi writer, physician, secular humanist and human rights activist, is known for her powerful writings on women oppression and unflinching criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death. .

Early in her literary career, she wrote mainly poetry, and published half a dozen collections of poetry be
More about Taslima Nasrin...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“There are some people who are untranslatable.” 0 likes
“If I say that I’m educated and was jobless in Dhaka, that I want to work here, build myself a healthy, beautiful life, the kind of life that everyone dreams of, they’d just throw me out of the country. Political asylum they may just allow, but economical asylum - never!” 0 likes
More quotes…