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The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

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The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirin The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India." Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.


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The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirin The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India." Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.

30 review for The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    "I also want you to experience the familiararity of our ancestrial state. You girls are British, yes. But all the generations of our family before you lived in India. It is in your blood. The language, the food, the way things are. These things are not erased just because you grew up elsewhere." Sisters: Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina have been tasked with completing a week pilgrimage to India on behalf of their mother who deeply wanted to go when she was alive. Their mother organized a "I also want you to experience the familiararity of our ancestrial state. You girls are British, yes. But all the generations of our family before you lived in India. It is in your blood. The language, the food, the way things are. These things are not erased just because you grew up elsewhere." Sisters: Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina have been tasked with completing a week pilgrimage to India on behalf of their mother who deeply wanted to go when she was alive. Their mother organized a list of places for them to visit as she suspected the experience would enrich them in a variety of ways. Little did she know just how life-changing this would be for her very lost daughters. True to most books about sisters, they find themselves and each other in the process. I so enjoyed The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters. I loved watching these three women navigate their family's country as first-time visitors. This created a fascinating element where the sisters could confront negative cultural expectations while simultaneously understand how a male-dominated environment might have impacted their mother and the other women in their family. Oh, insight. How lovely thou art. Themes related to family, tradition, gender inequality, and taking control of one's life created an interesting and engaging reading experience that is just as humorous as it is heartwarming. I hope you have a chance to read it. Check it out! My favorite quote: “A sunrise is something that you shouldn’t take for granted. Stand still and watch a new day beginning. Think of all the new days you have left, and reflect on how you will choose to spend them.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Five amazing sisterhood of the traveling in saris stars ! Nameste! I found a real gem! A sweet, inspirational, heartwarming book ! I loved this kind of book no matter what’s your gender, nationality, religion, culture, race you have, it embraces you tightly and make you feel deeply for the characters! It doesn’t only serve to your mind, it does also feed your soul and empower your spirit. Three sisters with different perspectives, life choices and characteristic qualities who barely stand each ot Five amazing sisterhood of the traveling in saris stars ! Nameste! I found a real gem! A sweet, inspirational, heartwarming book ! I loved this kind of book no matter what’s your gender, nationality, religion, culture, race you have, it embraces you tightly and make you feel deeply for the characters! It doesn’t only serve to your mind, it does also feed your soul and empower your spirit. Three sisters with different perspectives, life choices and characteristic qualities who barely stand each other take a pilgrimage trip to India for ensuring the final wishes of their mother. It seems like the mother’s bucket list has a crucial purpose to bring the sisters back together and solve their past time regrets and issues with each other. Rajni, eldest sister, married, has 18 years old son and soon to be grandmother, authoritative, doubtful, withdrawn, still has hurt feelings for her sister Jezmeen. Jezmeen, unsuccessful actress suffering from social media attacks because of a viral video which probably ends her short time carrier, lively, stubborn, single,straightforward and most vivid character of the sisters. And Shirina, polite, negotiator, sweet talker, good hearted, sweet girl who made arranged internet marriage and suffers from mother-in law’s hostile attitudes, has a big secret that she keeps from her sisters. I loved their journey, revelation process of the secrets they kept about themselves and the way they start to know each other without judgements and releasing their resentments. It’s an amazing book makes me wanna have a journey to India for seeing all the sacred places. The story is about family, sisterhood, love, acceptance, forgiveness but it’s also about finding yourself by accepting who you are and healing your wounds by making peace with your past!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    beautifully told this story was bursting with culture, family dynamics, and love! Balli Kuar Jaswal completely captivated me with this engaging story about these three dynamic sisters. I felt as though I was wisked away to India along with the Shergill Sisters. Jaswal’s writing is so descriptive, she made the characters and the setting pop off the pages. Seriously when I was done with this book I felt as though I knew these characters and had been on this pilgrimage with them. Some books you re beautifully told this story was bursting with culture, family dynamics, and love! Balli Kuar Jaswal completely captivated me with this engaging story about these three dynamic sisters. I felt as though I was wisked away to India along with the Shergill Sisters. Jaswal’s writing is so descriptive, she made the characters and the setting pop off the pages. Seriously when I was done with this book I felt as though I knew these characters and had been on this pilgrimage with them. Some books you read, some books you experience, this book was the latter. Sisters Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina are not terribly close, in fact they don’t necessarily like one another. BUT it is their mother’s dying wish that they take a pilgrimage to India together. The sisters are all hesitant, they each have things going on in their own lives, but how can they deny their mother her dying wish? What transpires is a remarkable journey of self discovery, sisterly bonding, and forgiveness. These sisters started off this journey as complete strangers and ended it with an unbreakable bond. The book really brought home the fact that in order for people to truly understand you, you need to let them see who you truly are. This book really took me on an emotional journey I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I got frustrated. I found the sister so real and so relatable, I could see a little piece of me in each of them. The cultural aspects of this book were so interesting. The clash between traditional and modern viewpoints appears tricky to navigate. India seems to be a country rich in culture and I’d imagine this would be both rewarding and difficult for people of Indian dissent living outside the country. Simply put this was a beautiful story about remarkable women that should not be missed! 🎧🎧🎧 this was such an engaging and enriching audio experience!Soneela Nankani and Deepti Gupta really brought these characters to life. I think they especially gave a voice to the mother that really added an extra layer to the story. Not to mention they could pronounce all the names and locations that I would have struggled with. *** thank you so much to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

  4. 5 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    Gotta DNF this one. It's just boring. I'm a number of hours into it and it's just a lot of petty squabbling with the sisters. I just don't care to read anymore (or listen). I loved this authors last book, but this one isn't for me. And sticking to my rule....don't read books you have no interest in anymore.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Here's the story of a lovely lady. Who was bringing up three very lovely girls . . . . Sadly, said mother is on her deathbed and this story focuses on her final wish – for her three daughters to make a pilgrimage to India with her ashes. A strict itinerary is to be followed and it matters not that Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina have little in common – they are to follow orders. Which they do . . . sorta . . . . while dealing with thei Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Here's the story of a lovely lady. Who was bringing up three very lovely girls . . . . Sadly, said mother is on her deathbed and this story focuses on her final wish – for her three daughters to make a pilgrimage to India with her ashes. A strict itinerary is to be followed and it matters not that Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina have little in common – they are to follow orders. Which they do . . . sorta . . . . while dealing with their own personal issues. Rajni must come to terms with how to deal with her son’s much older (and now pregnant) girlfriend. Jezmeen must deal with the aftermath of a tantrum going viral and potentially ruining her chance at becoming a star. And Shirina? Her story is the one that will make you have the feels. A backdrop like this . . . . . Full of culture and heritage made this author two for two for me. There’s something about sibling stories that really resonates with me and I’m all about books that tackle not only secrets from the past, but also crises in the present and offer hope for the future as the characters remember . . . . Combine that with a driver called . . . . . And that’s the recipe for an auto-request for any future releases.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I loved a previous novel by this author so I knew I wanted to read this one for sure! Plus, I absolutely love the cover and the title. The three Shergill sisters were never very close and are polar opposites (they remind me a lot of me and my sister). However, they come together to fulfill their Mother's last wish before she passes away by returning to India to carry out her final rites. I did enjoy the multiple POVs from each of the sisters. They are all very well developed characters with their I loved a previous novel by this author so I knew I wanted to read this one for sure! Plus, I absolutely love the cover and the title. The three Shergill sisters were never very close and are polar opposites (they remind me a lot of me and my sister). However, they come together to fulfill their Mother's last wish before she passes away by returning to India to carry out her final rites. I did enjoy the multiple POVs from each of the sisters. They are all very well developed characters with their own problems and the Author does a great job of showing complex family dynamics. I learned things about India I didn't really know about and enjoyed the setting of the story very much. I kind of considered this a semi light read, but balanced out with hard hitting issues. It started off good, then just turned slow for me and seemed a lot longer than it actually was. I did enjoy the last 20 percent or so of the book much better! Side Note: It's done very well as an Audio Book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is the fourth novel by Singapore-born author, Balli Kaur Jaswal. Not long before she died in November, Sita Kaur Shergill set out her wishes for the pilgrimage her daughters were to make to India in her name: a mix of tourism, sentimental and spiritual destinations and activities. Eight months later, Bajni, Jezmeen and Shirina arrive in Delhi. None of them really wants to be there. Rajni, the eldest (and therefore, most responsible) would much rath The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is the fourth novel by Singapore-born author, Balli Kaur Jaswal. Not long before she died in November, Sita Kaur Shergill set out her wishes for the pilgrimage her daughters were to make to India in her name: a mix of tourism, sentimental and spiritual destinations and activities. Eight months later, Bajni, Jezmeen and Shirina arrive in Delhi. None of them really wants to be there. Rajni, the eldest (and therefore, most responsible) would much rather be at home dealing with the bombshell her eighteen-year-old son dropped just before she departed. A woman twice his age is bad enough but the prospect of being a grandmother at 43 doesn't bear thinking about. Being in India, meanwhile, brings back the awful memories of the trip she made with her mother shortly after her father died. Jezmeen is glued to her phone watching her career as a TV host self-destructing over an unfortunate YouTube clip of her restaurant meltdown. Shirina’s marriage is not turning out to be the idyll she had envisaged. Sehar is wonderful, but being a daughter-in-law is proving challenging. She is finding that acquiescence to the family’s wishes turns out to mean no social life and no job. And now, Shirina is dreading the difficult duty the family requires of her while she is in India. The sisters have not been the sort to get along with each other for many years (if ever, in Rajni’s case, being so much older). They even came to blows over the circumstances of Sita’s death. So they haven't shared thoughts, secrets or fears like some sisters might have, when some support and understanding could have eased their worries to some degree. Travelling like this in India “’It’s hardly a break,’ Jezmeen reminded her. ‘We’ve got this itinerary to follow and we’re sequestered in the hotel most evenings because it’s not exactly the friendliest environment for female travellers.’” As the sisters (mostly) follow Sita’s wishes (Rajni feels her sisters are not taking this as seriously as they should), with the pilgrimage taking them on to Amritsar, not everything goes according to Sita’s carefully laid out plan: one of them is arrested, and later two of them find themselves on a mercy dash across the country in a car daringly chauffeured by a man who insists his name is Tom Hanks. Sita hated to see the discord amongst her three very different daughters: would her gamble to bring them together on this pilgrimage to their roots pay off? “They had all done their part by coming on this trip, this pilgrimage they did not want to take, and what did it achieve? Arguments, ugly memories and none of the healing that Mum had wanted for them.” While being of Indian extraction might enhance the enjoyment of this novel, it really is not necessary and if some of the issues raised apply more to that racial group, giving them a wider audience is important. But if Jaswal draws attention to confronting topics like female feticide and rape culture, her characters are easily relatable and she manages to include plenty of humour. This is a thought-provoking and moving read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    Loved it. Rating : 4.5 stars I expected something along the lines of Erotic stories for Punjabi widows. But this was gold. It captures the not-so-close sisters who are on a pilgrimage to fulfill their mother's death bed wish. The scenes of the British sisters adapting to the land of their parents had both hilarious and thoughtful moments. Old grudges and secrets surface and there are talks about sex, wife swapping Punjabi couples, young man-older woman trope, detective trailing of prospective brid Loved it. Rating : 4.5 stars I expected something along the lines of Erotic stories for Punjabi widows. But this was gold. It captures the not-so-close sisters who are on a pilgrimage to fulfill their mother's death bed wish. The scenes of the British sisters adapting to the land of their parents had both hilarious and thoughtful moments. Old grudges and secrets surface and there are talks about sex, wife swapping Punjabi couples, young man-older woman trope, detective trailing of prospective brides, tradition vs modernity, activism, breaking through the entertainment industry, viral videos, 'lassi' and other Indian drinks masqueraded as exotic stuff (and described so in over-adorned language) in menus and more. Books set in India as these are so important. It is refreshing from the forceful sympathy trope and romanticization of poverty that so many writers write about.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    After reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and really enjoying it, I was so excited to receive the ARC for this one. This book turned out to be quite different from what I was expecting but it was nevertheless, a very interesting read. Rajni is the eldest sister, a school principal who likes rules and everything to be in an orderly fashion. However, she was not always like this and things that happened in her past completely changed her attitude and now when things are again uncertain in her After reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and really enjoying it, I was so excited to receive the ARC for this one. This book turned out to be quite different from what I was expecting but it was nevertheless, a very interesting read. Rajni is the eldest sister, a school principal who likes rules and everything to be in an orderly fashion. However, she was not always like this and things that happened in her past completely changed her attitude and now when things are again uncertain in her life, she is not sure how to handle everything. Jezmeen is a struggling actress who’s just lost her job and gone infamously viral. She also has always been a rebel and resists every attempt by Rajni to follow their pilgrimage schedule and resents her sister for being so strict. Shirina has always tried to be the perfect daughter but felt too invisible in her own home and being scared of any confrontations has left her as the person who always adjusts and makes sure everyone else is happy. I could relate to some parts of each of these sisters and it made the reading experience quite surreal - sometimes nostalgic and sometimes even uncomfortable. The writing is as usual very engaging. The author uses the stories of these three sisters to give us a picture of immigrant life in Britain, the clash of cultures between traditional parents and their British born kids and sometimes, even the second generation immigrant kids. Through the trip that the characters take, we see a different view of India too - how the noise and crowds can sometimes feel overwhelming; even after so much development, how the sexism and misogyny is so ingrained that it manifests in everyday little things; how female foeticide in parts of India is still rampant and sometimes, these ideas don’t disappear just because someone has immigrated to a more modern country. The author also manages to give us a nuanced portrait of the relationship between three sisters - who were not close while growing up and even held resentments towards each other, but being in close proximity after the death of their mother forces them to acknowledge their issues and maybe pave the way for a better relationship going forward. It’s also great to see them have each other’s back despite any lingering issues. This book is a very interesting portrayal of family dynamics and sisterhood, traditional vs modern thinking and how it affects our everyday life. It’s a very honest picture of three sister’s lives told with drama, humor and mystery which makes for a fascinating read. I would definitely recommend this one if you enjoyed the author’s previous book and are interested in depictions of the myriad of issues that women face in everyday life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    ★★★✰✰ 3 stars An absorbing start gives way to an increasingly frustrating reiteration of the same arguments which provided little character development. “Grief came to her like a series of aftershocks—every time she thought she had moved on, something new reminded her of Mum.” The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters started well enough. We are introduced to three sisters who are leading different lives and are not particularly close to one another. There is the serious older sister Rajni ( ★★★✰✰ 3 stars An absorbing start gives way to an increasingly frustrating reiteration of the same arguments which provided little character development. “Grief came to her like a series of aftershocks—every time she thought she had moved on, something new reminded her of Mum.” The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters started well enough. We are introduced to three sisters who are leading different lives and are not particularly close to one another. There is the serious older sister Rajni (married and with an eighteen year old son), the loud middle sister (whose career as an actress is having more downs than ups), and Shirina the youngest and most subdued of the sisters (who currently lives with her husband and his husband in Australia). The three embark on a pilgrimage-of-sorts after their mother's death (who in her last letter to them lists the places they should visit during their journey). The unfriendly dynamics between the sisters are apparent from before they reach India. Resentment, jealousy, and misunderstandings abound. All three sisters happen to have a big secret that they are keeping from the others and from the narrators...however obvious this secret was the narrative would only allude to it in an attempt to create some sort of mystery (which ultimately failed as it built 0 suspense ). In spite of the tile and front cover (which is lovely) the story delves into serious topics such abortion, sexism, and abuse. The India portrayed by Jaswal is beautiful but dangerous. For instance, although Delhi is a city that bustles with energy and holds many attractions, it is also full of leering men who can quite readily resort to violence. Yet, Jaswal does not let her depiction of India be submerged by darkness and there are instances in which the sisters are assisted and helped by the locals. Sadly, the sisters frustrated me to no end. They thought the same thoughts throughout the majority of their travels (ex: I can't tell them; they don't know how it is; she is careless, she is mean, yadda yadda). Their arguments were tiring and repetitive, which although is realistic, it also made a lot of scenes somewhat redundant as they added little to the characters or their relationships. The sisters were also somewhat stereotypes of certain personalities which never bodes well... The moments of humour were occasionally jarring or forced. For instance, the characters walk into a laser eye surgery instead of an (view spoiler)[ abortion (hide spoiler)] clinic. A lot of the jokes stemmed from misunderstandings which made for many unnecessarily goofy scenes. These oddly contrived moments of humour undermined the serious tone of the story. Some of the characters seemed cartoonish (the evil mother-in-law, the spineless husband, the you-don't-understand 18 year old). And I was vaguely annoyed by the implications that all the sisters are better off by being more 'chilled' (for example being okay that your son is marrying a woman 18 years older than him when he himself has just become a 'legal' adult...). The story had few adventures, and the pacing felt rather slow, lagging especially in the middle part. A lot of the things that happen seemed predictable (and avoidable), and soon I grew tired of the sisters. Still, I might try Jaswal's future works... Read more reviews on my blog

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4 STARS 2019; William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada When Balli Kaur Jaswal's breakout hit Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was being read by anyone, I sniffed at it. I am not good at hyped popular books. I almost go in challenging the book by having high expectations. Sometimes I know it is better to just not read it till the hype dies down. I then saw that Jaswal had a new novel out and I could not help myself and requested it. I put it off for a month and then decided to dive in and see w RATING: 4 STARS 2019; William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada When Balli Kaur Jaswal's breakout hit Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was being read by anyone, I sniffed at it. I am not good at hyped popular books. I almost go in challenging the book by having high expectations. Sometimes I know it is better to just not read it till the hype dies down. I then saw that Jaswal had a new novel out and I could not help myself and requested it. I put it off for a month and then decided to dive in and see what happens. Another reason I was hesitant in reading Jaswal's books is that they are considered "Indian". Most "Indian" books are written by Indians born and mostly raised in India or by non-Indians. Being Punjabi/Sikh, I tend not see characters like me in books. They are either Hindus or Muslim or the are Punjabi but from India. I was born and raised in a Western Culture (Canada). My step-grandfather came here in the 1920s and assimilation was the only way to survive. His children were born and raised here with them not even knowing the language or culture of their parents. My dad came to here when he was a kid, and lost his accent as well as his language (which he is now getting back). My mom and maternal grandmother were my main Indian influences, but I saw it as a faraway thing. I've been to India, I can read and write like a child in Punjabi, I can speak it with slang and can cook Indian food, but it's not my first language or culture. I grew up being one of the only brown kids in school, so most of friends and boyfriends have been non-Indian. I think in English but sometimes my Punjabi comes out something fierce. I am proud to be Indian, but I just don't see much about it - or at least what people expect me to know. I give that background because when I read this book, I felt like I had characters I could relate to. One of the reasons I love the TV show "The Mindy Project" is because I see myself in that character and it is great when you feel like you are being represented in pop culture. In this book, the women are British and around my age. I can see myself in each one. Rajini wanting order in her life and have things go the way they are supposed to is something I cling to, although often don't achieve. I also feel for Shirini as she feels trapped even when she tries to do the right thing and make her mother proud. It is Jezmeen, I feel a kindred spirit to, as I feel the need to rebel and live my own way. Jaswal does an amazing job in demonstrating the suffocation of expectations. Being the generation that is both Western,but still keeping your Punjabi roots, often there is this need to juggle and act. By that I mean there can sometimes feel like there is two of you and depending on the situation you have to be that person. In keeping the balance of who you are, you toggle between those roles. Jaswal uses the Shergill sisters as a group and individually to show that pull. When their mother passes away asking them to fulfill one last wish of the sisters traveling together to India to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, they scoff but pack their bags. Each sister is going through an issue where this trips comes in time for them to escape. As they are forced to get to know each other again they bring back memories of their childhood and the expectations they had being Sikh girls. This story is perfectly balanced with drama and humour (and often the humour coming form the drama). I listened to this one on audio, and it really highlighted the conversations in the book. They felt realistic and like any conversation I have had with my own cousins. We have each felt the over all expectations but felt the pressures differently. Each generation has to rebel against something new, Rajini's son can marry who he would like, but he chooses an older white woman who is having their baby out of wedlock. Shireen who can choose who she would like to marry returns to her roots of arranged marriage but using it through a "newer" form of online dating. I had an absolute blast reading this book as I felt every emotion and really wished it would not end! I would recommend this book to any reader, but especially to other Punjabi girls. I think this novel is a great step in being another representation of what is a brown girl. Sorry if my review went into babbling territory! **UPDATEI forgot to mention that when the narrator says Punjabi words she says them like a stranger to the language would, or with a non-Indian accent to it. Hard to describe but when she would say it that way it interrupted me from the story.** ***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS*** My Novelesque Blog

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    I loved this story about three sisters and their fractious, discordant relationships, which are on full display during their trip to India after their mother's death. Before dying, the sisters' mother insisted her daughters make a pilgrimage in India for her, planning out their itinerary. Each sister only very reluctantly agrees to this trip, partially because of their feelings towards each other, and partially because of how their own lives are progressing, or not. Each woman has secrets she's a I loved this story about three sisters and their fractious, discordant relationships, which are on full display during their trip to India after their mother's death. Before dying, the sisters' mother insisted her daughters make a pilgrimage in India for her, planning out their itinerary. Each sister only very reluctantly agrees to this trip, partially because of their feelings towards each other, and partially because of how their own lives are progressing, or not. Each woman has secrets she's anxious to keep from the other two; for example, a) eldest sister Rajni's wayward 18-year old son and her reasons behind her desperate need to control every person she knows and situation she's in. b) Middle sister Jezmeen's acting career is going nowhere, and after an embarrassing incident captured by bystanders, appears to have torpedoed it, but is still looking to make it big. Youngest sister Shirina appears to be the one most on top of her life, living in Australia with a rich husband and seeming happy. Unlike this author's Punjabi Widows story, there isn't much humour here. There's a lot of anger and frustration, both amongst the sisters, and towards their mother, and the expectations she raised them with. As the sisters attempt to make their way through their mother's itinerary (which goes off the rails almost immediately) Balli Kaur Jaswal comments on a number of social issues (e.g., expectations on Indian children, which are heightened for Indian girls and women, the prevalence of rape and harassment in India, spousal abuse, female infanticide). Despite the underlying commentary, this is still a story about a family in pain that needs to find a way to repair itself. And though there's melodrama (which, if you're Indian feels believable,) I still really enjoyed the way the sisters find a way to slowly reconnect with each other. And there's even a wee bit of humour towards the end of this terrific story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Iryna *Book and Sword*

    To say that I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did is an understatement! From the very first pages, I knew that this would be the one. The IT book, the perfect summer read, a powerful feministic punch to the face. Yes, yes and yes! I liked Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows alright, but it lacked something for me, so I was a bit apprehensive going into this. But, I needn't have worried. The three sisters from the story are as different as it gets: a rebel, a very by-the-book and one tha To say that I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did is an understatement! From the very first pages, I knew that this would be the one. The IT book, the perfect summer read, a powerful feministic punch to the face. Yes, yes and yes! I liked Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows alright, but it lacked something for me, so I was a bit apprehensive going into this. But, I needn't have worried. The three sisters from the story are as different as it gets: a rebel, a very by-the-book and one that is torn between two worlds. And somehow I was able to relate to all three of them at once. I say that this is a perfect summer read, because of how easy it reads, how engrossing it is, and because of the hot Indian summer setting, that perfectly correlated with my 100 degrees Florida one. BUT, the topics of this book are far from a fluffy summer read. They are heavy. They are raw and they are so important! Normally, I don't deal well with the topics this book was exploring. Normally I get stuck up on my own opinions and storm away if the book doesn't share them. But Balli Jaswal made me think. Not change my views completely, no, but open a window of possibilities for other views. And for that this book will be among the ones that have changed me forever. It's also safe to say that this book has started my thirst for immigrant stories. For own voices stories! I felt a tug when I read Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, but after this one, it is unquenched! I cannot wait for more from this author! My WEBSITE My BOOKSTAGRAM

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mansi Mudgal

    I loved the author’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, so when this one came out and I heard the great reviews everywhere it got me all excited. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sister is a story of three sisters who aren’t on good terms with each other but to fulfill their mother’s dying wish return to India. The book started off great, the three sisters share a difficult relationship with their mother and amongst themselves. The Mother’s subsequent passing and the journey to India sets a I loved the author’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, so when this one came out and I heard the great reviews everywhere it got me all excited. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sister is a story of three sisters who aren’t on good terms with each other but to fulfill their mother’s dying wish return to India. The book started off great, the three sisters share a difficult relationship with their mother and amongst themselves. The Mother’s subsequent passing and the journey to India sets a very interesting tone to the story; the problem I faced was the constant disagreements and bickering between the three, which though realistic considering their dynamic got repetitive and annoying. It also didn’t help when I could guess the ‘suspenseful part’ of the story pretty soon down the line. I also a little uncomfortable with how India was portrayed; the characters came to India and “discovered” male gaze, patriarchy, pollution etc. which are real issues but they way the story dealt with them made it seem to be a bit of a checklist “things people talk about when they come to India and forget as soon as they go back” cause all this talk didn’t add anything to the story or character development for me. I’d ask you to give this one a try as it seemed to have worked for a lot of people, but the Shergill Sisters seems to have left me wanting with it’s lack of character development and an unrealistic ending. I don’t know if it’s the book or if I am not the intended reader but this one

  15. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    (free review copy) Travel + sisters + some secrets to unravel = a captivating and heartwarming story! I loved Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and enjoyed this one just as much.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tova

    Not gonna lie, this book gave me chills. Especially (view spoiler)[ "I named her Anaya. It means freedom." (hide spoiler)] . RTC Not gonna lie, this book gave me chills. Especially (view spoiler)[ "I named her Anaya. It means freedom." (hide spoiler)] . RTC

  17. 4 out of 5

    Padmaja

    This book was an adventure in itself. I liked it, but didn't love it. Read on to know why. 🍭 Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina are three sisters who embark on a pilgrimage to India, because of their mother's last wish, to reconnect and rediscover their roots. Their mother expresses this wish in form of a letter, which also mentions the places they should go and what they should do. The book started off well, with each sister carrying her own baggage of secrets and secretly wishing the trip to end as they This book was an adventure in itself. I liked it, but didn't love it. Read on to know why. 🍭 Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina are three sisters who embark on a pilgrimage to India, because of their mother's last wish, to reconnect and rediscover their roots. Their mother expresses this wish in form of a letter, which also mentions the places they should go and what they should do. The book started off well, with each sister carrying her own baggage of secrets and secretly wishing the trip to end as they cannot stand each other. The portrayal of their relationships was written sharply. Each sister is dealing with her own problems in her own way and failing badly at it. 🍭 The journey to India set a very interesting mood and premise and I enjoyed reading about the "cultural shocks" the sisters experience and discovering some things which exist everywhere else but are stereotyped to India alone. The three sisters are as different as chalk is to cheese. During the first half, I really wished for them to be honest with each other, but as their relationships with each other were explored during the course of the book, I understood that it is going to take time. The writing was beautiful no doubt, but very different from Erotic stories for Punjabi widows, a book which I loved through and through. 🍭 I found some recurring themes too in both books which are immigrant parents, British Indian kids and superstitions and the kids leading a double life. I also found this book to be more of a social commentary like Erotic stories.. I guess I expected a bit more adventure, but it was a good read, one which can be read once. I don't think I'll read this again. The ending was satisfying, but it felt a little Bollywoody to me 3.5⭐

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this one. This is, as the title suggests, the story of the Shergill sisters—Rajini, Jezmeen, and Shirina, who while not quite at loggerheads have drifted apart with time. Each is dealing with their own life problems—Rajini’s son is about to opt out of college and marry a woman twice his age, Jezmeen’s career is going only one way—downwards, and Shirina’s marriage is not turning out quite as she thought it would be—and not really aw My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this one. This is, as the title suggests, the story of the Shergill sisters—Rajini, Jezmeen, and Shirina, who while not quite at loggerheads have drifted apart with time. Each is dealing with their own life problems—Rajini’s son is about to opt out of college and marry a woman twice his age, Jezmeen’s career is going only one way—downwards, and Shirina’s marriage is not turning out quite as she thought it would be—and not really aware of what the others are going through. When their mother, Sita Kaur, dies, her last wish is that they travel to India, taking a pilgrimage of sorts that she couldn’t go on because of her illness—taking them from Delhi to Amritsar, to the Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib, up in the Himalayas. So of course, the three must take that journey together, one that their mother had planned out for them in detail in a letter she left. Sita Kaur didn’t merely want them to travel to the places she wanted, but more so to spend time with each other and learn to get along once again (or perhaps as they never did). Needless to say, it doesn’t go entirely to plan, but because of this, they begin to face their own problems and also grow closer once again, when dealing with issues of inequality, family, tradition, and modernity. This was a mixed sort of read for me. On the one side, I liked reading the story/stories (their individual stories as well as of their relationship with each other) of the three sisters, their lives, and how they ultimately handle the problems in their lives (in which at times, circumstances and (happy) coincidences also have a role). Some simply require a change in perspective (acceptance), while others more serious, life-changing decisions. I liked how the author handled these aspects of the story, especially that it was done realistically, with no ‘magical’ changes and yet a bit of magic at work (if that makes any sense). The picture of the country however, I wasn’t too thrilled with—I mean the author highlights various issues that the country is dealing with no doubt, including inequality and women’s safety, but the picture she presented felt to me far too gloomy, as though there is only darkness, no light, and that to me was off-putting. There is the negative, but that doesn’t mean that there is no positive, no hope, either, which I felt the book didn’t reflect. Three and a half stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Not exactly the kind of novel I usually read. So, for what it's worth I had to do a fast read on this one. Fortunately, the story was well written and fairly easy to comprehend. I loaned the book out to a female and she felt the same way. So, a rating of a 4 is justified. I did win this book thru Goodreads.com and thankful for that.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Right before Sita passes away, she writes a final letter to her daughters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina. The letter contains her final request: take the pilgrimage to India that she was unable to take herself. Her letter includes specific places she wants them to visit and tasks she wants them to complete. Along the way, she hopes that they will learn something about their mother while bonding with one another. Unfortunately, the three sisters are not close and they each view the trip as inconven Right before Sita passes away, she writes a final letter to her daughters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina. The letter contains her final request: take the pilgrimage to India that she was unable to take herself. Her letter includes specific places she wants them to visit and tasks she wants them to complete. Along the way, she hopes that they will learn something about their mother while bonding with one another. Unfortunately, the three sisters are not close and they each view the trip as inconvenient. Busy dealing with their own personal problems and secrets, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina bump heads and surprise themselves as their pilgrimage progresses. I absolutely loved this book. The characters and their individual stories are so compelling that I never wanted to stop reading. Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina have been living their lives completely separate from one another because they don’t get along. Throw them together on a trip while they’re in the middle of personal crises, going on a trip far from home with people they don’t want to be stuck with is just icing on the cake. They each just want to jam through the trip, spread their mom’s ashes in her final resting place, and head back home. I truly enjoyed each character. Told through rotating perspectives, we get to know Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina through their viewpoints as well as through each other’s eyes. We also get to see through Sita’s eyes in the prologue and a few flashback chapters. I loved watching the sisters get to know each other and come closer as well as watch them understand and get to know their mother the way they didn’t during her life. One thing that was clear throughout the book is that there was a clash between tradition and modernism threaded through the character’s lives. Rajni and Jezmeen have very clear and strong modern views while Sita and Shirina are very traditional. It was interesting to see the sisters come to terms with this and see how traditional meeting modernism took them in different directions in their lives. I was a bit confused by two of the secrets that Shirina and Rajni held onto for a good portion of the book. I understood why they didn’t share them with each other, but I didn’t understand why it was kept from readers when we were reading from their point of view. It was presented like readers knew what the secrets were. Whenever they thought about these two big secrets, they skirted around what exactly the issues were in their own minds, which became irritating after a while. I felt like skipping ahead just to find out what they were so I could continue in peace but held on until all was revealed. Unfortunately, after finishing the book, I still don’t see why we were kept in the dark for so long. My other complaint is that the switch in narrators was not always clear. The first chapter had me confused for a hot minute every time the narrators changed because there was never a warning. I got used to it and could clearly tell who was narrating, but it was very confusing when narrators changed in the same paragraph and in the same sentence later in the book. I knocked a star off my rating because there should’ve been something to indicate that the narrator was about to change. Otherwise, it was a wonderful book. I truly enjoyed the story. I love intricate stories about siblings, and this hit the spot. As someone who has older generations as well as cousins from my generation who are very traditional in my family, although from a different culture than the Shergill sisters, I enjoyed seeing the happy union as well as the clashes between modern and traditional values throughout the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chitra Ahanthem

    This will make you chuckle and nod away in agreement: the way the main characters are at odds with one another with their load of baggage(s)weighing them down while they put on a veneer of coldness, false bravery and what have you. The writing never flags as the author draws readers into a narrative that puts family ties and tensions in the fore, even as the backdrop looks a bit maudlin at first glance: a mother writing her express last wishes for her three daughters to follow. Enter the three S This will make you chuckle and nod away in agreement: the way the main characters are at odds with one another with their load of baggage(s)weighing them down while they put on a veneer of coldness, false bravery and what have you. The writing never flags as the author draws readers into a narrative that puts family ties and tensions in the fore, even as the backdrop looks a bit maudlin at first glance: a mother writing her express last wishes for her three daughters to follow. Enter the three Shergill sisters who have been brought up in London. Their back stories emerge in brief spurts, slowly bringing to readers the face that each one of us put forth to keep up appearances before other people: the hurt we all carry and which affect us in many different ways. The writing could well have ended as a caricature that makes fun of the way a majority of families with Indian connections are stitched together and burdened by social conventions but instead takes readers on a humane discovery of what makes siblings to stick around for one another when the going gets tough. The author balances the socio cultural ethos of what it means to be a girl/woman in India when it comes to property ownership or even an existence with the universal theme of addressing past hurts and real understanding of one another as the only means to be able to forge ahead in meaningful ways. 

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    While on her deathbed, Sita asks her three daughters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina, to make a pilgrimage to India together in order to honor her memory and scatter her ashes. "There's no greater show of love and faith than traveling a long distance for somebody." The sisters are busy with their own lives and not close, either spiritually or geographically, but still agree to make the trip together. While there, however, their agendas and interests differ, and they disagree about how closely they s While on her deathbed, Sita asks her three daughters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina, to make a pilgrimage to India together in order to honor her memory and scatter her ashes. "There's no greater show of love and faith than traveling a long distance for somebody." The sisters are busy with their own lives and not close, either spiritually or geographically, but still agree to make the trip together. While there, however, their agendas and interests differ, and they disagree about how closely they should follow their mother's instructions. As you can imagine, personalities clash, disagreements occur, and secrets are revealed. "Being a wife and mother was complicated enough. She didn't want to be a daughter and sister as well." - Rajni Since my mom died almost 1.5 years ago, I connected with so much of this story, and it drew me in from the very first pages. I loved the complexity of the sibling relationships and pictured how a similar trip would play out if taken by my two younger brothers and myself. How would our personalities mesh and/or clash? Would we follow our mom's wishes to the letter, or would we be too distracted by our own wishes and desires? "I cannot command you to spend any more time together, or to cherish each other's presence in your lives. I can only leave you with hope that the lessons of this journey will continue after you return home." - Sita to her daughters in her trip notes Google was definitely my friend while reading this book so I could learn more about the Sikh references, and because I just had to visualize the places they visited. I liked how the author sprinkled some humor throughout the story in order to balance out the heavy subject matter. While reading, I laughed out, teared up several times, and cried twice near the end. This was a very powerful read for me. Location: India I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits I had such a good time reading The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, The three sisters are very different, yet believably so, and I could appreciate their somewhat fraught relationships. This is a novel about building friendships which seems very apt in today's angry world! Having recently read Soulla Christodoulou's story, Unlocked, also set in India, I was interested to see how the Shergill sisters view of this country was colour See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits I had such a good time reading The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, The three sisters are very different, yet believably so, and I could appreciate their somewhat fraught relationships. This is a novel about building friendships which seems very apt in today's angry world! Having recently read Soulla Christodoulou's story, Unlocked, also set in India, I was interested to see how the Shergill sisters view of this country was coloured by their personal experiences while travelling. Being effectively women alone for the duration of their journey allows readers to see deep misogyny running rife through society. Rajni's experience particularly shows that this hasn't changed in recent decades and Shirina discovers that other women can be just as abusive as men. The only aspect I struggled to believe was the device of the whole India trip being prompted by the sisters' mother writing a letter to them during her last night alive. It's a long letter and, being reminded of my own mother's last weeks with cancer, I just couldn't see how she had the energy. That aside though, I loved Jaswal's engaging prose style and would happily pick up more of her books in the future. I think The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters would appeal to fans of writers like Amanda Prowse, and to readers who appreciate a good family drama.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Thank you William Morrow for the free copy. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters has been sitting on my unread shelf since last summer. It was a fascinating introduction to the modern Sikh Indian diaspora and dealt with some heavy issues. But the story was balanced out with hilarious sister dynamics as the three women travel to India after their mother dies. I loved the slightly dysfunctional family and happy ending (because let’s be honest, everything I read right now has that).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    Book blurb: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be r Book blurb: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and this was the first book I read for the #AsianReadathon. The book cover is a little too chick-litty for my tastes, but the audiobook was available at my library, so I thought I'd give it a try. Well, color me surprised! This is the story of three sisters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina, and the pilgrimage they make to India to honor their mother's dying wishes, and to scatter her ashes. The sisters were all brought up in England, but are not close as adults, so you know things are not going to go as planned. As a member of the Indian diaspora who has also visited, lived, and worked in India, I could relate to much of what is covered here. Some of themes explored in this one include family and love, sacrifice and secrets, being an immigrant and part of a diaspora, home and career, traditions and freedom, gender politics and patriarchy. I appreciated that we got the POVs of all four women, and that their relationships were complicated with no easy answers. There are a couple of mysteries rolled in, though I figured out what they were fairly early on. I was angry and sad and teary in parts, and was rooting for these sisters the entire time. The reason this did not get a higher rating were the chick-litty parts and the ridiculous coincidences, and I can't really go into those without spoilers. I listened to the audiobook which was wonderfully narrated by Soneela Nankani and Deepti Gupta. I found this a compelling road trip tale a twist, and am so glad I looked past that cover to the contents inside.

  26. 4 out of 5

    MRIDULA

    |4.5 stars| Sometimes we come across a book that feels like a journey in itself. This is one such story. By the end of the book, the Shergill sisters felt like people I have always known. They felt real and all the 'adventures' they were a part of, I found myself alongside them. . Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina, the three sisters who are poles apart by nature and have different kinds of crisis to deal with, are brought together by their mother. Their mother, while lying on her deathbed had one wish- th |4.5 stars| Sometimes we come across a book that feels like a journey in itself. This is one such story. By the end of the book, the Shergill sisters felt like people I have always known. They felt real and all the 'adventures' they were a part of, I found myself alongside them. . Rajni, Jezmeen and Shirina, the three sisters who are poles apart by nature and have different kinds of crisis to deal with, are brought together by their mother. Their mother, while lying on her deathbed had one wish- the three sisters undertake a pilgrimage to India on her behalf and learn about their culture and religion. India, as it turned out, was a land full of surprises. A plan that went out of hand because of impulsive decisions, life crisis and so on. . While I'll leave you to read more about these adventures when you pick this book up, this journey was not just about moving from one place to another but one that left an impact at a spiritual level. 'Jaiswal's' writing highlights the importance of understanding the difference between tradition and modern beliefs among immigrants and what it is to travel in India in search of Spirituality, pilgrimage, and one's true religion. The author expertly uses the vulnerability of the characters, unfamiliar settings, and the bong better sisters to weave this brilliant and evocative adventure. You are in for a treat.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mathangi

    I'm a sucker for good sibling-dynamic stories and this got me right in the feels, folks.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    The throbbing vegetables that played such an unforgettable role in Balli Kaur Jaswal's "Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows" don't have an encore in her second novel. Instead, we get a moving story about three estranged sisters fulfilling their mother's dying wish by traveling to India for a spiritual awakening and to scatter her ashes. Things don't go as planned. Each of the sisters has a secret. Each carries the emotional baggage of growing up with a harried and superstitious mother after the sud The throbbing vegetables that played such an unforgettable role in Balli Kaur Jaswal's "Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows" don't have an encore in her second novel. Instead, we get a moving story about three estranged sisters fulfilling their mother's dying wish by traveling to India for a spiritual awakening and to scatter her ashes. Things don't go as planned. Each of the sisters has a secret. Each carries the emotional baggage of growing up with a harried and superstitious mother after the sudden death of their father. Each carries the guilt of their mother's dying action. As the story unfolds, we learn more about the sisters' secrets. So do they. This is a sweet story about familial expectations and the dangers of being a woman in India. I liked the story, but I confess that I missed the vegetables a bit.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Book club selection for July 2019. Not a bad read, but I didn't love it. I got a bit tired of the sisters' bickering, though I understand it was necessary in order for the ending to be satisfying. The author drags out the mystery of the oldest sister's previous trip to India with the mom WAY too long. I also thought it was odd how basically unappealing the author makes India - while her descriptions are vivid, so is the sense that India is dirty, dangerous, and anywhere you want to go is overcro Book club selection for July 2019. Not a bad read, but I didn't love it. I got a bit tired of the sisters' bickering, though I understand it was necessary in order for the ending to be satisfying. The author drags out the mystery of the oldest sister's previous trip to India with the mom WAY too long. I also thought it was odd how basically unappealing the author makes India - while her descriptions are vivid, so is the sense that India is dirty, dangerous, and anywhere you want to go is overcrowded. I wouldn't rush to read other titles by this author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jason Lundberg

    I’m naturally biased towards liking this novel — Balli is a good friend, and I’m the editor of her Singaporean titles — but even so, I *loved* it. The relationship between these three sisters felt so real, and their voyage through India as part of their mother’s deathbed request was so evocative of the beautiful chaos of that country that it was like I was there with them. Balli just keeps getting better and better with each book. Wonderful.

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