|Fly on the Wall Press|
25 November 2022
My thanks to Isabelle Kenyon for my copy of the book
and the invitation to the blog tour
Set in contemporary India, Sangeeta Mulay's unforgettable debut novel is a compelling story of four unforgettable characters:
Aparna - a courageous campaigner of rationality and freedom of expression. Will the patriarchal grip of a religious society manage to silence her?
Hari – the passionate founder of a religious organisation. As Hari becomes a rising star for the local Hindu right-wing, will he lose himself?
Naseem - Aparna's wise daughter who is discovering her sexuality. Will she have the strength to stand up for her mother against societal stigma?
Kashi - Hari's daughter who is in love with science and…girls? Confused about her sexuality, will she be able to lead life on her own terms?
Confronting issues of religion, bigotry, sex and politics, DISOBEDIENT WOMEN tells the interwoven stories of two families and their battle of ideologies. A novel of the choices women make under pressure, where to be disobedient is the only option that offers change.
📖 My Review..
This powerful novel grips from the opening chapter with a chilling incident which really sets the scene for what is to come. Deftly moving back in time we learn just what has brought Aparna Soman to this point in her life. Aparna is an vociferous advocate of freedom of expression and vehemently defends women's rights and it is these outspoken passions which rile those who seek to keep women in their place.
Gradually over the space of the story we learn about the other three main characters who add such an interesting dimension to the story, and in particular that of Hari Sabnis who has a fervent mission to set up his own spiritual organisation in order to bring back the glory of the Hindu religion which he thinks is being irreparably damaged.
Disobedient Women brings contemporary India to life in a very vibrant and thought provoking way and with each strand of the story we are pulled into a dangerous world of discord and bigotry. Interspersed within the story are snippets from social media accounts and excerpts from newspaper entries. The author writes well, bringing this powerful story to life with intricate detail and with a powerful message about the absolute strength of women which is greater than any perceived weakness.
☕ Best Read with..Potato fritters and hot tea
About the Author
Sangeeta Mulay was born in Pune in India and now currently works in London as a UX writer. She received an honourable mention in the 2021 NYC midnight micro-fiction challenge. Her book for young adults, ‘Savitribai Phule and I’ was a notable book of 2020 for The Bombay Review. She has also had a short story highly commended in the Sydney Hammond short story competition. Another of Mulay’s short stories will be published in a 2022 Fox and Windmill anthology.