Who doesn't love finding a magical audiobook from an author they've never heard of?
On Thanksgiving I told you about audiobooks in series that I am thankful for. The other side of that is random audiobooks that I find when I want something different after finishing all those series. This is one of those unexpected treasures.
Basic premise: Nikki, a modern Indian daughter living in London, is hired to teach creative writing to Punjabi widows at the community center in Southall. When it becomes clear that most of the widows cannot read or write English, Nikki shifts the focus of her class to basic literacy. The widows, however, have other ideas. After finding a rather risqué book that Nikki had intended as a joke gift for her sister, the widows start creating erotic tales of their own. These stories spread, and the conservative Sikh community starts buzzing.
I had no idea what to expect when I checked this one out. I figured it would just be a bunch of sexy stories that would shock old ladies. But it wasn’t. There were some scenes that were quite caliente (prepare yourself), but there was much more to the book than just sex. This book dealt with bigger issues. Like how to have a modern relationship in a traditional culture. Like how to deal with the loss of husbands and children and still live a good life. And the biggest underlying theme of all was women empowerment. Punjabi widows exist on the edges of their society, but these stories gave them a voice and made the world hear them.
Speaking of hearing, I really enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book because the reader (Meera Syal) has such great accents. She gives us London and India. It was beautiful hearing the cadence of her speech. I think if I'd've read the print version, I would have struggled over the names. By using the audio version, I just got to sit back and absorb the language.
If you’re looking for a different audio book to share with your Valentine, check this one out. It is beautiful and lovely and might just give you some fun ideas. Who knows what magic you’ll find when you go looking for new and different audiobooks at Nashville Public Library.