A review by schnaucl
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

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


This was a well told story about a woman whose husband left her but the village thinks she murdered him. Consequently she's been socially isolated.  But then women trapped in their own abusive marriages come to her for advice on getting rid of their husbands.  

The characters were compelling and the setting vivid.   

Shroff does a good job of showing how abusers work, systematically isolating people from their support network. 
SpoilerAnd how easy it is to fall back into old patterns without realizing it.  She also does a good job showing how things can be self reinforcing.   Geeta is socially isolated by the villagers at first but reinforces it herself in later years.  Patterns of all kinds are hard to break.

I could have done without the focus on a Solani's weight at the beginning and throughout though.

She also does a good job showing that when people want to play savior, the consequences of trying to change the system often fall on the very people they're trying to save.

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