Three young women bond over work, navigating their secret pasts, disapproving landladies, abusive bosses and roadside stalkers, they discover that the city – fuelled by hungry aspirants and a real-estate boom – might not be the refuge they seek. One pouring night in Bengaluru, their worst fears come true: one person is dead and the rest are suspects…
Girls and the City by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is an unputdownable read about the big little lies we deploy to hide our dirty little secrets.
A tale about female friendship with a generous dose of mystery. Girls and the City by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a fascinating read where women navigate misogyny with grit and tenacity.
The beautifully designed cover grabs your attention first. The book follows the lives of three determined, unapologetic women. Juhi Jha, an ambitious yet naive woman trying to unsuccessfully escape the clutches of patriarchy. Leela Lakshmi, a tenacious single mother surviving in a judgmental world. Reshma Talwar, a young executive dealing with her own demons.
Not just the main three, but the side characters are well-etched too. From the men in their lives to Leela’s four-year-old daughter Nani and her octagenarian landlady, Mrs. Rao. The characters and experiences are relatable. No matter if you are a woman living in a metro or a small town, you are bound to relate to them. Harassment at work and on the streets, veiled and not so veiled barbs, misogyny, and patriarchy. The class divide rarely if ever affects the status of women.
Although the story is set in Bangalore, it could very well be any other city. It is as much a character as the human counterparts. Narrated in the third person, the book begins from the fateful day before switching to a flashback that builds up to the day. At the end of each chapter is a byte from an ongoing investigation. In most cases, it holds a mirror to the prevailing stereotypes and adds an interesting layer to the narrative.
The writing style is refreshing. This is my first book by the author and I am looking forward to reading more from her. It is well-paced and the author keeps you guessing. The mystery aspect is also well-paced. The ending did seem a bit rushed, though.
I couldn’t help but compare the book and the characters with the HBO series, Sex and the City. Similar to the series, the book asks tough questions. The author began writing the book during the #MeToo movement and focuses on sexual harassment at work. The dynamics between sex and power.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and recommend you pick it up. Although it is a relatively light read, it does make you think. It is optioned to be a web series and I am looking forward to seeing it on screen.Girls and the City by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar #BookReview @manreetss @HarperCollinsIN @blogchatter #BookChatter #GirlsAndTheCity Click To Tweet
About the author
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is an award-winning and bestselling writer of five books, including the Mehrunisa series and the critically-acclaimed The Long Walk Home and The Radiance of a Thousand Suns. Hailed as ‘a star on the literary horizon’ by Khushwant Singh and garnering endorsements from Gulzar for two of her books, Manreet and her work have featured at literary festivals in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, India and NYC. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, the South China Morning Post and several Indian publications. Manreet lives in New York, New York, with her husband, daughter and cat.
This review has been written as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. I was offered the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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