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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
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September 2019: Cultural > Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - Jaswal - 4 stars

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Jgrace | 2710 comments Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - Jaswal
Audio performance by Meera Syal
4 stars

This was a surprisingly fun book. Surprising, because so many of the characters have heavy burdens of grief and trauma. It’s a contemporary story set in the Sikh community of West London. The young protagonist, Nikki, is a law school dropout who has defied tradition by moving out of her family home. She supports herself with bartending while she tries to find a new direction for her life. A need for additional income causes her to take on a community teaching job; creative writing for Punjabi women.

There is a small amount of East/West culture clash in this book. But, it’s mostly a story of tensions within the community; older vs younger generation, affluent/educated vs poor/illiterate, and without doubt, male vs female. This is a feminist story. There are some truly funny moments as the widows create their own version of Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies. Their ‘secret’ project cannot remain secret for long in a busy, gossiping, community. Reactions vary and add to the comic relief.

Some relief is necessary. Many of the women are grieving serious loss. Some are traumatized by ongoing abuse. A group of young, male, moral vigilantes are creating an atmosphere of threat and fear. The murders of at least two young women have been ignored and unsolved. Nikki is in over her head as she reluctantly becomes attached to her native community. There’s a good balance between suspense and humor that kept me turning pages. In the end female solidarity triumphs. Mostly.

Booknblues | 5310 comments This is on my tbr. I think I need to move it up,because I loved your review.

Theresa | 6071 comments I adored this and am pleased you liked it. I too was surprised by was so much more than I expected. And funny!

It was the first of Reese Witherspoon's recommendations I read ...when I needed a book recommended by a celebrity for a challenge. I wanted something fun, not heavy or too serious. I came away thinking Reese has great taste and isn't too stuffy or putting on reading airs.

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4887 comments It sounds wonderful. I put it on my Trim list based on the intriguing title and description, but you make it sound even better than I expected. If I don't read it this year, I'll read it next year.

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