Title: Bhaunri: A Novel
Author: Anukrti Upadhyay
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 25 May, 2019
Purchase Link: Amazon
The number of book reviews on my blog have increased monumentally in the last couple of months, and I love it! Today, I review “Bhaunri: A Novel” by Anukrti Upadhyay.
Bhaunri belongs to the nomadic Lohar caste in rural Rajasthan. She is married off to a wealthy family in a different village as a child, and joins her husband, Bheema, a few years later. The couple fall passionately in love with each other, but that doesn’t stop him from straying to other women in the village occasionally. Bhaunri’s extreme jealousy of these women forces her to make questionable decisions.
Upadhyay expertly handles the theme of romantic envy, in this book. Brought up by a fiercely independent woman, Bhaunri believes in equality between husband and wife. Her personal beliefs are starkly different from those of her mother-in-law and the prevailing customs of society, where men do as they please and women accept their fate without complaint.
Through the two beautifully written characters of the protagonist and her mother-in-law, the author explores manifold emotions women feel. These include undying love, fierce jealousy, compassion, hatred, generosity, and narrow-mindedness. What sets Bhaunri apart from most, is that she acts on her base emotions without caring for the consequences. She behaves like a wilful child who can go to any length to get her way. While her belief in herself is admirable, her lack of judgement is not. This makes her character layered and interesting.
Some other characters of the book are equally important in advancing the story and adding depth to the theme. Bhaunri’s father-in-law is particularly noteworthy, acting as the moral compass in the novel. Despite being hated by his family members, he is the strongest voice of reason owing to his travels and life experiences. Bheema is one-dimensional, seen purely through Bhaunri’s love-struck eyes. A mentally ill brother-in-law seems out of place here, solely existing to show the father-in-law in a negative light.
I feel the real strength of the book, however, is its description of rural life in Rajasthan. The author goes into painstaking detail of the daily activities of the household, as well as their occupations. Her descriptive narration transports you to Rajasthan and makes you feel a part of this troubled family of Lohars.
The novel is well-written and easy to read, short in length with a captivating plot. However, I felt that it ended too abruptly. The story builds well like a novel should, but ends rather suddenly like a short story. It has the potential to be explored further and fleshed out.
“Bhaunri” has a rustic charm that makes it stand out. It explores young, passionate love, as well as the colourful life of a Rajasthani village. I recommend the book to people who enjoy good fiction, and those that enjoy exploring different ways of life and different worlds through books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anukrti Upadhyay has postgraduate degrees in Management and Literature, and a graduate degree in Law. She writes in both English and Hindi; Daura and Bhaunri are her first publications in English. In her other life, she worked in a global investment bank as a compliance and risk officer. She divides her time between Mumbai and Singapore.
Review done as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program
Buy “Bhaunri: A Novel” on Amazon here.
*I’d like to thank Blogchatter and Harper Collins for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains affiliate links. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by purchasing through my link!
**Copyright in all pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla and cannot be republished or repurposed without permission from the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.
Firstly, I love that first photo.
Secondly, great review. Sounds like an interesting read. Maybe the author will write a sequel?
Thank you! Let’s hope she does!
Looks like a great book.
Thanks for stopping by!
I adore your posts – so colorful and lively!
Thank you 😊
Lovely review , I enjoyed reading it and love how it’s colourful
Such a great review!
Thank you 😊
Love your review! I haven’t heard of this book or this author before, but I will add it to my TBR. I am so happy you enjoyed this read!
Thank you 😊
It was published only last month!
Sounds lovely. Great review.
Thank you 😊
Interesting read, I like books which are relate-able to life and have strong protagonist’s role. You have reviewed the book beautifully.
The plot seems interesting. I wanted to read something different this weekend so thanks for sharing your views on this
Really loved the review, I am a fan of fiction and this seems a beat pick to read over the weekend.
I really loved your honest reviews always …This book looks so interesting that I would sure download this!!
This is a hard copy Ruchi! I know it’s confusing with so many ebooks around 😂
This book has a great premise. I loved the blurb. I loved how you have broken down the aspects of this book and explained it. I am truly in for this one. After all it has rustic charm and it comes from HCI !!
Thank you for appreciating the review 😊
You look so beautiful, the book look interesting and plot intrigued me to know more
Thank you 😊
This story is romantic and has dark undertones .I like how you review books in a balanced manner with kind words always.
Thank you 😊
This looks like intriguing plot with struggle of women To deal with obsessive love. Would love to read
Thanks for stopping by
Bhaunri seems to have all the marks of a classic romance. Going by your review the plot is gripping. The best part for me is the rustic setting of Rajasthan for the plot.
Thanks for stopping by. It is not a classic romance in the least, in fact it is quite disturbing. However the rustic setting is quite charming.
I am Hearing a lot of buzz about this books and was thinking to pick it up or not. Glad I checked your review. I avoid books which are disturbing or abrupt endings, it just make it sad. so i think I would avoid this one. But great review Noor
Thanks Gunjan 😊
Your review of this book which I have actually read is spot on. It’s not for everyone coz it can leave you feeling a little off. But all in all well captured.
Glad you liked it
I love how you have caught the nerve of the novel& summed up just enough to titilate our minds. Im fascinated by the tale of this woman and keen to know more! Buying this one!
Rural settings have always been a favourite of mine! The protagonist’s character looks really strong! I will definitely read this!
I really wanted to know more about the story but you didn’t give any spoilers! 😛 seems like an interesting story! Will pick this book soon!
The plot seems really interesting and I love literacy fiction. I feel this novel would also make a lovely story for a movie .
Thank you for stopping by
I like way you review books with precise words that tell about the cover of the book so that we can plan to buy it or not. I am getting this book for sure.
Great review, Noor. You know when I finished reading this book I thought I would never ever pick a book from the same genre but now after a few days I feel like getting the second book from the author too. 😀
Yes me too, her writing and characters really linger in one’s imagination. I think I’ll be reading her other book too 😃😋