A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.
Every woman has a secret life . . .
Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.
Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.
I absolutely loved this book and its gorgeous cover!! Some parts were heartbreaking, but for the most part, I was smiling or laughing. I adored the characters — especially the widows. Jaswal’s writing is unique, witty and quite entertaining. The book transported me to Southall with Nikki and the rest of the fascinating, and unforgettable characters. I also liked and appreciated the widows’ diverse personalities, which was evident in each of their stories. Some of the stories made me giggle, while others made me blush. However, don’t be fooled, the novel isn’t just about erotic stories, it casts light on the Punjabi/Sikh culture, the women’s obligations/place in their community, and widowhood. But wait! Romance, relationships, family dynamics, and murder are also included in the book. Erotic Stories of Punjabi Widows is delightful and a top-pick for me this year. I highly recommend it and know (like me) you will laugh and fall in love with the memorable widows.
Huge thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for giving me an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. Although I received an ARC copy, I purchased the book and added it to my personal collection. 🙂