Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 15 minutes
First Published: 2023
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Five years ago, Geeta’s no-good husband simply walked away and she never heard from him again. However, in her small Indian village, the rumor persists that Geeta killed him. Geeta doesn’t mind since no one wants to mess with a black widow. Until women start asking Geeta for advice on how to off their own husbands and they won’t take no for an answer.
It’s been a long time since a book made me laugh this hard. Shroff’s dark sense of humor eases the very weighty topic of gender expectations and limitations in Indian society. Heartwarming and hilarious all at once, The Bandit Queens has a well-rounded story and witty characters that make for an enjoyable, yet thought-provoking, read. Easily five stars from me, I’ll be shocked if one of the celebrity book clubs doesn’t choose it in January.
A young Indian woman finds the false rumors that she killed her husband surprisingly useful—until other women in the village start asking for her help getting rid of their own husbands—in this razor-sharp debut.
Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband. As in, she actually lost him—he walked out on her and she has no idea where he is. But in her remote village in India, rumor has it that Geeta killed him. And it’s a rumor that just won’t die.
It turns out that being known as a “self-made” widow comes with some perks. No one messes with her, harasses her, or tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It’s even been good for business; no one dares to not buy her jewelry.
Freedom must look good on Geeta, because now other women are asking for her“expertise,” making her an unwitting consultant for husband disposal.
And not all of them are asking nicely.
With Geeta’s dangerous reputation becoming a double-edged sword, she has to find a way to protect the life she’s built—but even the best-laid plans of would-be widows tend to go awry. What happens next sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything, not just for Geeta, but for all the women in their village.
Filled with clever criminals, second chances, and wry and witty women, Parini Shroff’s The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won’t soon forget.
About Parini Shroff
Parini Shroff is a practicing attorney and the author of The Bandit Queens. Shroff currently lives in the Bay Area.