Reviews tagging 'Mental illness'

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

2 reviews

yuyuv's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


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kelly_e's review against another edition

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dark funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Title: The Bandit Queens
Author: Parini Shroff
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 4.25
Pub Date: January 3, 2023

T H R E E • W O R D S

Cinematic • Sassy • Empowering

📖 S Y N O P S I S

Geeta is believed to have killed her vanished husband – a rumour she hasn’t bothered trying to correct, because a reputation like that can keep a single woman safe in rural India. But when she’s approached for help in ridding another wife of her abusive drunk of a husband, her reluctant agreement sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of all the women in the village.

💭 T H O U G H T S

Initially intrigued by the premise, I added The Bandit Queens to my TBR earlier in the year. But what really encouraged me to get to this debut sooner rather than later was its inclusion on the 2023 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist. And I must say this book is unlike anything else I've read.

Firstly, Parini Shroff does an extraordinary job portraying the sense of place of this small rural Indian village. The author expertly highlights the plight of women living within both the caste system and a patriarchal society. It's clear she's done her research as she details the historical context of constraints put into place in order to keep women oppressed. Additionally, she cleverly uses dark humour to really help situate the reader.

The audio narrated by Soneela Nankani is excellent. Yet because there are so many characters, I relied on tandem reading with a digital copy in order to keep track of everyone and everything. Each of the characters' stories had an important place and I really wanted everything to flow, but it's quite possible with so much going on it disrupted the pacing. It lulled from time to time, and really took me longer to get through than it normally would.

Overall, I enjoyed the writing, the characters, the cultural insight, and the humour, even though there were some kinks with the structure and pacing. This novel based on friendship and women banding together to form a community was incredibly empowering, and I'm glad it was highlighted on the longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction. The Bandit Queens would certainly make an excellent movie.

📚 R E C O M M E N D • T O
Desperate Housewives devotees
• dark humorists
• fans of female camaraderie

🔖 F A V O U R I T E • Q U O T E S

"This was the version of her who had survived and there was no sense in apologizing for being a survivor."

"The amount of bullshit that fell from that fucker’s mouth could fertilize half of India."

"He broke the contract first. When someone threatens your body, you have every right to protect yourself." 

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