Prerna's Reviews > Ladies Coupé: A Novel in Parts

Ladies Coupé by Anita Nair
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it was ok

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 hardships because of this and how they eventually become empowered and definitely wiser. There really could have been a little more variation to the story. Not all Indian girls have to rise up in arms to live a full life. This novel on the whole makes it seem like it's a sad case for women in India. But then I guess that is what the author set out to portray. I'm not sure...but I just felt there could be a little more variety in the stories.
Next up, the writing literally made me laugh out loud sometimes. What does "Love is methyl alcohol pretending to be ethyl alcohol" even mean?? The writing just seemed so forced. The one thing that particularly stood out for me were the bad BAD metaphors. Really, you expect better writing from someone who has been recommended by Khushwant Singh (though come to think of it, it seems quite not-so-good writer recommending another :P).
And the end? Badly written. I refuse to believe that someone who has led as conservative a life as Akhila can just one fine day get up and sleep with a total stranger just because some women on some train told her their stories. I don't, in the first place, understand why the writer needed to make Akhila sleep with someone to show that she had finally broken away from whatever was enslaving her. There are other ways you know!
All in all, the book did not enrich my life in any way, but I also do not regret reading it. Sometimes you just HAVE to read some "just average" book.
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Reading Progress

June 4, 2012 – Started Reading
June 4, 2012 –
page 90
28.13% (Other Paperback Edition)
June 4, 2012 – Shelved
June 4, 2012 –
page 90
June 5, 2012 –
page 250
June 6, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Prerna "In the world of chemicals, water is the universal solvent." Really??
1. Bad metaphors.

Prerna "Love is a colourless, volatile liquid. Love ignites and burns. Love leaves no residue — neither smoke nor ash. Love is a poison masquerading as the spirit of wine." Gaaaaahhh!!

Prerna Love was a liquid fuel propelling our lives forward.

Prerna "Love is methyl alcohol pretending to be ethyl alcohol." WTH does that mean?

Ganga true that. I didn't really feel a change in character with each story. It felt like the same person telling different stories. I was thinking I wasn't reading it right

Also the sleeping with a stranger part. It seemed so sudden and absurd and unnecessary to assert that her perspective has changed. Infact the ending happened too soon and it was just on how she lured the guy. nothing much on what made her decide to SEDUCE the boy.

Eshana Ranasinghe The oil of vitriol chapter had too many chemistry methaphors and many of them did not make sense. I think maybe the writer thought that since she studied chemistry that's how she saw the world. Also methylalcohol is toxic while ethylalcohol gets you drunk. And water is not the universal solvent (acetone is much better)

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