I loved reading this book and finished it in a single sitting. Bhaunri was a delight to read.
Bhaunri, our protagonist, belongs to the nomadic blacksmith clan of Rajasthan. She is married in her childhood, as is the custom of her clan, but she lives in her father’s house until she is ready to be sent to her husband’s house.
She moves to her husband’s house and is drawn to her husband, Bheema. Bheema isn’t the perfect husband Bhaunri had dreamed about. He is a womanizer, and is the typical person who thinks low of women and believes women shouldn’t talk and have control over his life.
Bhaunri, is different, she consider herself equal to her husband, she is different than her mother in law, who silently bears the brunt of her philandering husband who shows off his pseudo manliness. A headstrong woman, she speaks her mind and has very firm opinions on how she should be treated. She is determined to make her husband loyal to her, and the lengths she goes to make it happen form the story. It takes some time for her to accept the reality that her husband doesn’t love her back.
The book made me fall in Rajasthan all over again. The life of the blacksmiths, the sensual beauty of the desert had its heart in the right place.
The characters are flawed and they seem real. You may think there is a Bhaunri, her husband or her mother in law somewhere between us. Bhaunri’s mother was one strong character in the book, I wish there was more about her. She has left her old husband and moves in with Bhaunri’s father because he wasn’t able to satisfy her needs. Their marriage was a marriage of equals, and was a powerful start to the book.
‘Bhaunri’ was a very powerful character and she has given voice to the many women living in tribes whose voices go unheard. This book essentially is about women, but also about men who live in clans and tribes.
At its core, Bhaunri is a story focusing on a husband-wife relationship. It reads like a folktale yet seems so real.
This book can also be a great character study. Upadhyay writes well, doesn’t mince her words and knows how to keep her reader engaged. You have become my auto buy author now.
I highly recommend this book. It’s the perfect one to read on rainy afternoons sipping a cup of tea/coffee.
Thank you Harper Collins India and Anukrti Upadhyay for sending a copy for review.
Picture and opinons are my own.
You can get a copy for yourself here.