Review published on April 18, 2017.
Nikki couldn’t settle on a career. She had already upset her family by pulling out of university and was now working in a pub and living “over the shop”. Her sister Mindi, however, wants to have a traditional arranged marriage and asks Nikki to put a postcard on the notice board at the Temple in Southall. So begins a hilarious journey for Nikki as she finds what she thinks is her ideal job – a part time teacher in a writing class for ladies to be held at the Temple. Although lacking in experience, she has an abundance of enthusiasm. Nikki gets the job and meets many and varied ladies, who instead of learning creative writing manage to turn the class into the telling of erotic fantasies.
It is the students’ own stories which is so fascinating, as they provide a real insight into the life of the ladies and how they would like their lives to be. There is also the mystery surrounding the death of Maya, the daughter of one of the students, which everyone talks about in hushed tones around NikkI, as although she is well liked by the class she is not traditional and is often treated rather warily. Gradually, Nikki overcomes the ladies secretiveness and discovers the story of Maya’s death, although she feels there is more to it than meets the eye and so sets out to discover the truth.
I really loved this book. The characters are colourful and well drawn. Nikki is a likeable and believable heroine and there is the added fillip of the ladies’ erotic tales. I heartily recommend this as a happy feel-good read.
Val James 5/5
Erotic Stories of Punjabi Widows by Bali Kaur Jaswal
HarperCollins 9780008209889 hbk Mar 2017
WWAR: Our Voices take the load off the editorial team this issue
The Beachside Sweet Shop by Karen Clarke
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