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

Ladies Coupé

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  4,313 ratings  ·  325 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 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ladies Coupé, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Atula Kapoor I had the same question after I finished reading the book. But now I think the author wants to imply that it should be alright for women to use men…moreI had the same question after I finished reading the book. But now I think the author wants to imply that it should be alright for women to use men for their physical gratification, just as men do. I don't think Akhila engages with other men because she feels any attachment or a need for their presence in her life. She just wants to live independently and outrageously, not bound by any social constraints, including those of morality, honor or dignity as prescribed by the society and imposed only on women. This stance can be controversial, but that's the stance, I guess. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,313 ratings  ·  325 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
piperitapitta
Tutto in una notte

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, è 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 -
...more
Vani
Jul 21, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Gattalucy
Dondolati dal ritmo lento di un treno

L'espediente smaccato per raccontare di solito mi mette a disagio... se hai da raccontare... e racconta!!! Questo poi non mi ha convinto per niente: che le donne si raccontino, è vero! che lo facciano meglio tra sconosciute, pure, ma che questo raccontarsi segua il filo di un viaggio, indipendentemente da chi ci sia nel tuo scompartimento...beh, è poco verosimile, anche se sei sicura che ci sarà comunque per forza una donna...
A parte questo alcuni racconti so
...more
Prash
Nov 01, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Prerna
Jun 04, 2012 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
...more
Irene Daguno
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Masteatro
3,5 estrellas
6 mujeres en un vagón de tren, seis vidas, seis historias que contar.
Es interesante, nos da una visión de la vida de las mujeres en la India en el siglo XX. Mujeres que no son ni pobres ni ricas, pero que están mucho más sometidas a los deseos de los demás de lo que quisieran.
Las historias de cada una de las compañeras de viaje de Akhila se cuentan una a una intercalandose con la vida de la proppia Akka, por lo que la narración es clara y el lector no se pierde en ningún momento.
Aún
...more
Emanuela
Mar 09, 2015 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.
Molt
...more
Em*bedded-in-books*
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
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Amina Thajudeen
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the first time when I was studying in school. I borrowed a translated edition of Ladies coupe from a local library. This was the first book, I ever read by the author. Since then, I became a follower of Anita Nair's works.

I have seen many reviews stating that there is nothing special about this story. Maybe many readers are not impressed by her writing style. But I liked it from the first line I ever read from this book.

I liked the way she narrated a story and I never think
...more
Srujan
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I find rating books in stars a little difficult these days. Probably because I don't have a clearly etched benchmark of what a 5-star rated book should be like. It happened that way with this book. Parts of this book were brilliant, especially the initial 150 pages or so. It begins with Akhilandeswari, a 45-year-old, single woman who works as an income tax clerk, buys a one-way ticket to Kanyakumari. When she steps into the Coupé ( this Coupé thing itself sounds so romantic and beautifully ficti ...more
Book'd
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Linda
Akhila has always thought of others, never herself. Since her father died, she has become the provider of the family. The other siblings have been married off, and she has turned 45 years old. She is not married and have no children. Does a woman need a man to feel complete? Is it possible to have a purpose on one's own?

The author investigates the woman's destiny with a feminist approach. Women who don't accept their place, which is to belong to a man and serve him, are treated badly. Akhila has
...more
Melissa
Nov 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Ms. Gee
Nov 04, 2008 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! :)
Andrea Vega
https://www.neapoulain.com/2018/12/el...

La verdad es que le debo mucha atención a las novelistas de la India, sobre todo porque las dos que he leído este año tienen sendos puestos en las mejores lecturas que he realizado este año. La primera es Arundhati Roy, de quien leí El ministerio de la felicidad suprema y El dios de las pequeñas cosas y la segunda es Anita Nair, que acabo de conocer gracias al maratón Guadalupe Reinas que hacemos en Libros b4 Tipos (y que espero se convierta en tradición).
...more
Elisabetta
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indi, intense, recipes, life
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
Jyothsna
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Olesya
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Meghana
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I was hooked onto this one after just a few pages. Not because the writing itself was great or the plot was really inviting, but mainly because for the first time in a long time I could actually relate to the protagonist; not in the sense that I went through the same experiences as Akhila, but the author drew out the joys and sorrows of the characters and extended them to the reader in a way that not just makes you see, but also understand.

The story is about Akhila, someone who is at a crossroad
...more
Didi
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jonayla
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, cl, favoritos
Lo empecé con miedo a lo que me podría encontrar: no me convencía del todo eso de el libro entero se limitase a que 6 mujeres que se encuentran en un tren contasen su vida. Sin embargo, me ha encantado. Me parece que hace un gran retrato de lo que es vivir en una sociedad donde la mujer es un mero complemento del hombre, en la que depende de éste para todo. Cuenta seis historias muy diferentes, aunque con algo en común: mujeres que están hartas de que las cosas tengan que ser tal y como son. No ...more
Deepu George
May 02, 2014 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
Snigdha
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such Simple Yet Beautiful Story Telling : 4/5

Ladies Coupe is a story of six women travelling together in a Ladies Coupe of an Indian railway train. Every women has a story to share, and Akhila, who is seeking the answer for "Can women lead a life without men" reaches a conclusion after hearing out other 5 women stories and weighing her own life story.
Anita Nair successfully creates an emotional connect with the readers and smoothly glides through stories. The book is rather a quick read, but has
...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/...
Margaret
Apr 16, 2007 rated it liked it
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?
Eleanor
Nov 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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!
Encarni Prados
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ha sido una historia llena de vidas, de relatos estremecedores de la dureza de la vida de la mujer en la India. La forma tan bonita y con tan buen gusto de desgranar esas historias ha sido preciosa y precisa aunque las historias hayan sido desgarradoras, muy recomendable!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
hmm 7 61 Jan 08, 2015 04:42AM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Cuccette per signora di Anita Nair 1 4 Jun 09, 2013 06:34AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Sari Shop
  • In the Convent of Little Flowers: Stories
  • Invisible Lives
  • Bitter Sweets
  • Bombay Time
  • A Breath of Fresh Air
  • One Hundred Shades of White
  • The Forbidden Daughter
  • For Matrimonial Purposes
  • Haunting Bombay
  • Secrets and Lies
  • The Immigrant
  • Love and Longing in Bombay
  • Bollywood Confidential
  • Desirable Daughters
  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
See similar books…
292 followers
Anita Nair is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the novels The Better Man, Ladies Coupé, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting, Idris: Keeper of the Light and Alphabet Soup for Lovers. She has also authored a crime series featuring Inspector Gowda.

Anita Nair’s other books include a collection of poems titled Malabar Mind, a collection of essays titled Goodnight & God Bless and six b
...more
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
“El amor es un líquido incoloro, volátil. El amor se inflama y arde. El amor no deja residuos: ni humo ni ceniza. El amor es un veneno disfrazado de vino.” 2 likes
More quotes…