Erotic stories. Punjabi widows.
They’re two phrases that you’d never see put together.
Until Balli Kaur Jaswal did just that.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows has a little bit of everything. We first meet Nikki, a young woman trying to forge her own path independent of what her family and culture expect. Her dutiful sister ropes her in to post her biodata (basically a Bumble profile/resumé/spouse checklist) at the temple, and that’s where she finds the job listing to teach Punjabi women storytelling.
You can guess what happens next. These aunties go wild, and it’s refreshing, endearing, and a little hot.
As Nikki and her students discover their voice and shed their inhibitions, the mystery of a local girl’s death begins to unravel. I was really pleased at how both storylines develop and weave together to create a truly compelling story.
Erotic Stories has everything I love in a novel – women written as beautifully and complicated as they are in real life, the clash/melting of two different cultures, strong writing and character development, and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure.
I’m really pleased that Reese Witherspoon selected this book for her Hello Sunshine book club – it’s a departure from her usual thrillers, that usually feature white women. You don’t have to be Punjabi or even Indian to enjoy this book – though you’ll empathize with it on a different level.
It’s just a wonderful book, and one that deserves to be on nightstands all over the world.
I adored it. I hope you will, too.
If you enjoyed this book, you may also like The White Tiger and A Suitable Boy (one of my favorite books ever). If you need a lighter YA read, I recommend When Dimple Met Rishi and Love, Hate, and Other Filters.