Powerful & Heartbreaking
Lilac Skies by Shivani Bansal is a powerful and heart-breaking historical novel that consumed me.
Lilac Skies is a novel by a woman about women. It is set mainly from 1942 and onwards to the mid 1960’s as we follow a young Asian girl from her teen years to marriage and beyond. We witness that girls are not always valued. They are seen as second class citizens. It is heart-breaking to witness. “Every night she swore she would love her daughter for eternity, should she ever have one.”
Arranged marriages are part of the culture. It is hard to witness the pain as a young girl is severed from her birth family to marry a stranger and to move across a continent.
The role of women in a marriage was often hard, so much was expected of them. They were at the mercy of their husbands, seen as possessions and punching bags more than a life partner. “She had heard neighbours hitting their wives before… She knew it was potentially part of being a wife.” It is heart-breaking to see that hitting is normalized and no one does anything about it.
We see the faithfulness of wives who stay with their husbands no matter what.
There are some strong female friendships as the women know what it is like to walk in the shoes of another.
We witness a mother-son bond that not even a new wife can infiltrate as a marriage for the woman is a lonely place.
There is the painful topic of miscarriage as the reader’s heart is torn apart for a character.
The novel is set over several decades and travels from India to Nairobi to London. Life is hard across the years both within a marriage and a community as there is much prejudice.
Lilac Skies is a powerful read. It will incense you as you see injustice in the plight of women and it will break your heart. You will also be full of admiration for the bravery of the women.
Thank you Shivani Bansal for a marvellous debut novel.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Punjab, India. It’s 1942 and Meena is still a girl when her parents tell her she is to be married, in five days, to a total stranger. What’s more, he lives in Kenya. A different country, a different continent, thousands of miles away from everything she knows. She doesn’t want to marry, but with four brothers and sisters, Meena knows she will be a burden to her parents if she stays. And it isn’t her decision to make.
Nairobi, Kenya. Meena’s new home is beyond anything she could have imagined. Nairobi is beautiful, but tensions under the colonial British rule run high. She is told she is lucky because her husband Amar is young and handsome, but all is not as it seems within her marriage… Tucked away from the outside world, Meena spends her time by the mango tree dreaming of going home… until she realises the friendships that she forges here are all she can hold onto.
Going from girl to woman in a strange land, can Meena find a way to finally make her life her own?
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3SxkNKc
Author Bio –
Shivani Bansal has a First Class degree in International Relations and Politics, which has yet to be put to use! She works full time in digital marketing in the charity sector, and also runs a small baking business from home called Sweet Beginnings Bakes. She loves writing story ideas in her Pusheen notebook in her spare time.
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