Thursday, 30 May 2019

Audio: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal



Narrated by: Soneela Nankani, Deepti Gupta
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Fiction
To review

My Thoughts
Always when I read something about travel in India it is always so exotic, filled with foods and no dangers at all. But this other shows the side that I always read about in the news. The latest story I read about this child was so horrifying that I wanted to cry.

The sisters are told to dress modestly, not to walk alone and still they all fear at times. Men in groups, leering, brushing up against them. It is that dark side of India, and they do come across a women's movement too. They try to fight back, even if the odds are against them. And it is certainly a story that needs to be told too.

But let us start at the beginning. With 3 sisters, Raj, Jez and Shirnia whose mother pass away and before that she tells them to go on a pilgrimage. To visit holy sites and to get to know each other again.

Raj the oldest is 43 and her son has found a girlfriend only a few years younger than Raj. She is the mother hen who is strict
Jez is a struggling actress with a scandal brewing. She is the wild one
Shirnia, the one who went into an arranged marriage and moved across the world. She is the diplomat.

I liked these sisters. They certainly had their issues, they did not really want to be here, but they come together in the end and become stronger than ever before.

This book touch on another subject too.  And you know what...I am going to put it in a spoiler because you might ut two and two together. Daughters. And I learned something new, I mean I knew that abortions are high and who wants a girl. But that even rich people do it was horrifying, I just wanted to scream why? Why are girls so bad? It really made me sad.

It is a road trip. It is family drama. And it was a really good story to listen to. I enjoyed it a lot. I should check out that previous book by her too.

Narrator
I really liked her voice and her different voices for the sisters. You could always hear who was who with everyone who showed up. She was perfect.

Ha, I did not realise that the mum was a different narrator. I just thought this one did an amazing job, but yes the mother has another narrator who did a good job too

Blurb
The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia were never close and barely got along growing up and now have grown even further apart as adults. Rajni, a school principal, is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a 30-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."

26 comments:

  1. For the past year or so, I've really been trying to learn more about the Indian culture after watching a cooking program on Netflix. I've seen both sides, and some of the things I'e seen have been so sad, but others have been glorious. This book sounds like something I will definitely pick up so I can learn even more. Thanks for such a great review, and hope you guys are doing well! Hugs...RO

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    Replies
    1. If I were to go I would love to visit temples and just take in the history, oh and the food, mmmm

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  2. It looks good. Not sure I've tried a book set in India.

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  3. Glad this was written sounds like it was worth it

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  4. I like the idea of an Indian road trip. I put this on my list.

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    Replies
    1. It was different, because it did show that side others are afraid to write about

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  5. I don't think I could read this one. But I might try on audio. I seem to be able to handle books I don't like otherwise in that format.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    Replies
    1. Same here. Some books I can do in audio, in print, hmmm

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  6. Oh interesting. I was wondering about this book and the fact you like it seals the deal. Hmm I should look at the audio version.

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    Replies
    1. I do want to try her previous one too, it has quite the title

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  7. I wouldn't want to live in India. From all I've heard about that place, it just sounds awful. I doubt I would like this book.

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    1. I'd be scared to death, never walk alone

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  8. Oooo now I want a book in India. been too long!

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  9. I don't think that I have read anything like this before. These sisters do sound like great characters.

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  10. I read the spoiler because I probably won't read this book, but yeah it's sad. It still happens in a lot of places like China too - and yeah I just don't understand why. I mean, things have changed a lot but some people (and especially the wealthy) still hold these silly old fashioned ideas about boys vs. girls and it's like, yeah wtf WHY!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    Replies
    1. And they were from Australia, Australia! It horrified me

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  11. Intriguing. I think lots of family secrets will be coming out.

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  12. Wow. This sounds like a powerful story but tough to read. Thanks for sharing.

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