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

Small Remedies

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Shashi Deshpande's latest novel explores the lives of two women, one obsessed with music and the other a passionate believer in Communism, who break away from their families to seek fulfilment in public life. Savitribai Indorekar, born into an orthodox Hindu family, elopes with her Muslim lover and accompanist, Ghulaam Saab, to pursue a career in music. Gentle, strong-will ...more
Unknown Binding, 324 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Viking Books (first published 2000)
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 Small Remedies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Small Remedies

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  243 ratings  ·  17 reviews

More filters
Sort order
This was quite an interesting departure from my normal reading. This is literary fiction by an author who is apparently very well known in India, but practically unknown in the West. If marketed here, it would probably be called "women's fiction," because Small Remedies is a very introspective first-person narrative by a woman who has lost her son, and as she traces the histories of two other influential women in her life, while also unveiling all her other formative experiences, she ties a mult ...more
Kriti singh
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book: Small remedies
Author: Shashi Deshpande
Favourite quote: knowledge comes later, out of coping with the experience that follows your action. Knowledge is always the inseparable twin of pain and suffering.
Review: The story revolves around 3 women, Madhu the narrator, Leela and Bai. All are women who have led extraordinary lives but have their own painful pasts and secrets.
Madhu Leela’s niece travels to Bhavanipur,savitribai’s home in her last years to write a biography of bai.
Madhu caught
Jo Lin
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it
I had expected this book to be a fairly typical inter-generational, soap opera-esque Indian novel with the usual multitude of characters, and was pleasantly surprised at how personal the novel was.

I also liked how Deshpande's prose style wasn't self-consciously Indian (which with other Indian writers can get a little too...vernacular) so I felt like was a reading the work of a good writer, rather than a good Indian writer.
Really enjoyed, and very involved. The story revolves around 3 women, Madhu the narrator, Leela and Bai. All are women who have led extraordinary lives by the standard of the day and all have tragedies and secrets of their own.
It's a complex novel which explores both the past and the present in the lives of Bai and Madhu, Madhu is engaged in writing a biography of Bai. It is whilst listening to Bai that Madhu remembers her childhood when she lived near the singer, so she's aware of the things th
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am left with so many feelings with which nothing can be done.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would rank Shashi Deshpande as one of the top Indian authors today.
Small Remedies starts with a lady who has lost a son, and is now trying to get over her loss by writing a book on a doyen of Hindustani vocal music.

The book provides a deep insight into the lives and relationships of various women - 2 women who defied cultural and societal norms of their times. Savitribai - a leading classical singer - who defies her marriage and customs to achieve her ambition of being a leading singer. Simi
Natasha Borah Khan
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favs
this book is very different from books i have read..the writing style, the way the characters relate, the plot, etc. it's not really a happy book. it is quite intense. the writing style is like giving the reader pieces of a jig jaw puzzle, and you can see the picture bit by bit. loved the book in a melancholic note.
Samyuktha jayaprakash
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Already going to my favorites list. I've never read something more honest and hauntingly beautiful. Living so many lives and stream of consciousness was as if I was in someone's head. As gripping as any thriller. Truly Indian. So beautiful.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
First of all the best place to buy this book is from and secondly I’m still not too sure on whether I like this book or not. Here are the reasons:

Leela is a writer, sent by the small magazine company she works with, to write a biography on the famous singer Savitribai (now known throughout the novel as Bai). Madhu finds out that Bai was her next door neighbour and that she was good friends with her daughter Munni.

From this point on Madhu starts escaped into her torrid p
Divya Bharath
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
An extremely touching and intense read. It's one of those books that leaves you wondering and in a daze after the conclusion- it's that unsettling feeling. To have touched upon several sensitive matters, also considered as "taboo" by many, is a daring task by itself- and to implement that so beautifully is an achievement for sure.

The characters are real. The storytelling is flawless. the intensity and intimacy between and of the characters are surreal! The intricacies and nuances of language, tr
Jessica Haider
It was really difficult to get into this book and I have to admit that I was never fully into it. There were too many characters thrown at you at the start of the book and I didn't really care the least bit about the narrator until about page 150. There were about 80-100 pages in the middle that I quite enjoyed...but otherwise I just was too drawn in.
Rakhi Anil
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book about human relationships, feelings, emotions etc. I wonder how the author managed to fill a book with these. Of course there are several characters in the book, each very different than the other. There is no right or wrong and black and white, most characters are grey as with real life. Very touching and poignant. Shashi Deshpande is one of my favourites.
Madhu, in mourning over her son killed in a bombing, visits a famous singer, Bai, to write her biography and in this process, works through her own grief. Beautifully written, shows complexities and conincidences of life in a realistic way.
Ataur Rahman
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant. But brilliant in an understated sort of way. It is a story of relationships, of families, of love, of longing, of betrayal, of pain..

Great writing.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obliquely about women who transgress the boundaries that society places upon them but more about a mother and her grief. It's a gorgeous story. (But I thought it was going to be about Leela.)
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, well written book. I was truly surprised how this story appealed to me. I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Abeer Hoque
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Nicely written, and the characters are carefully drawn out. But I found the story slow and not very compelling.
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2015
Deepika Mary john
rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2013
Aurangzeb Gill
rated it it was ok
Jul 13, 2016
Sheev Kapadia
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2016
rated it it was ok
Mar 11, 2012
John Hair
rated it did not like it
Jul 28, 2016
Tarun Satiya
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2012
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2016
rated it it was ok
Nov 17, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2017
rated it it was ok
Apr 06, 2015
Jyothi Balaji
rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2015
« 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 »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Adjunct: An Undigest
  • Schooling
  • Dining on Stones
  • Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
  • Celestial Harmonies
  • Islands
  • An Obedient Father
  • Thursbitch
  • Gabriel's Gift
  • Shroud (The Cleave Trilogy #2)
  • In the Forest
  • The Heart of Redness
  • The Romantics
  • That They May Face The Rising Sun
  • The Lambs of London
  • Everything You Need
  • The Red Queen
  • Nowhere Man
See similar books…
Novelist and short story writer, Shashi Deshpande began her career with short stories and has by now authored nine short story collections, twelve novels and four books for children. Three of her novels have received awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award for `That Long Silence'. Some of her other novels are `The Dark Holds No Terrors', `A Matter of Time', `Small Remedies', `Moving On', `In T ...more
“Women without men, I realized then, are totally different creatures.” 18 likes
More quotes…