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The Bandit Queens
The Bandit Queens: A Novel | Parini Shroff
158 posts | 109 read | 1 reading | 70 to read
A young Indian woman finds the false rumors that she killed her husband surprisingly usefuluntil other women in the village start asking for her help getting rid of their own husbandsin this razor-sharp debut. Shroff captures the complexity of female friendship with acuity, wit, and a certain kind of magic irreverence. . . . The Bandit Queens is tender, unpredictable, and brimming with laugh-out-loud moments.Ta Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of The Tigers Wife Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband. As in, she actually lost himhe 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 its a rumor that just wont 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. Its 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 Geetas dangerous reputation becoming a double-edged sword, she has to find a way to protect the life shes builtbut 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 Shroffs The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers wont soon forget.
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Entertaining #audiolisten full of intrigue and blackmail. I liked how the backstory was slowly unveiled explaining the tensions between the characters and how perception and reality were different for each one. Seeing the caste system and cultural references in action were interesting as well.

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First September bookspin bingo read done ✔️ the premise of this book is a good one I enjoyed the beginning and the end but started to get alittle bored 😑 mid way a so so read for me, sometimes a certain book just doesn‘t fit with your current mood. Funny how our reading moods shift. Happy Friday folks and happy 😃 weekend reading

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It‘s September and we‘re closing up #CampLitsy23 by announcing our winner. It was a VERY close call but this year‘s #CampChamp is The Bandit Queens!

Thanks to nominations by @Eraderneely @Megpiegem @Jenniferw88 @CSeydel @ImperfectCJ and @Read4Life the book was shortlisted for #CampLitsy23. With 15 votes it was our number 3 on the shortlist (behind Birnam Wood with 16 and Yellowface with 21 votes).
Continued below ⬇️

BarbaraBB So Yellowface was our favorite contender (thanks for the stats, Helen!) yet The Bandit Queens turned out to be our winner! No doubt reading and discussing it among Campers added to the book and that‘s why we love Camp so much! Meg, Helen and I and want to thank you all for joining us! We see you next year at #CampLitsy24! 3w
See All 40 Comments
Ruthiella That so much to the counselors @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain 👏👏👏 You did an awesome job organizing. 3w
Magpiegem Thank you camp counsellors!! And I think The Bandit Queens is a very worthy winner… I loved it, although it was the only camp book I managed to finish on time! Xxx 3w
TrishB Thanks @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain I think this was probably the least polarising of the books! Loved all the discussions and look forward to next year ❤️ 3w
DebinHawaii So much thanks to our counselors! I hate a great time & loved that I probably would not have read some of these books without camp. It was such a close vote (at least the last time I looked) & I would have been just as happy if Yellowface won even though Bandits was my ultimate pick. 3w
Cinfhen Yay!!! Even though it wasn‘t my top pick I loved this book and im so glad it was so beloved!! Thanks again #CampLitsy23 for a great summer 😁 sign me up for next year @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain you three make a great team 😘😘😘 3w
squirrelbrain Hooray for Bandit Queens! It was such a close-run vote though, and Yellowface would have also been a great winner! Looking forward to #camplitsy24 already…. 😃 3w
CatLass007 Thanks to our marvelous counselors. You and all of our #CroneGirls made this so much fun!!! 3w
Jess Thanks everyone. This was so fun. Looking forward to next year! 3w
Caroline2 Ha! I think it was my least favourite overall 😆 So crazy how we all have different reactions to different books! Thank you all so much for hosting! It has been a fab summer and I‘ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books together and the discussions have been so fascinating!! I can‘t wait for next year!! 😁 3w
Suet624 Thank you so much for this year‘s selection of books and all the work involved in keeping camplitsy going. Greatly appreciated. 3w
batsy How surprising! I didn't expect this to win but I'm very glad it did. Birnam Wood was tops for me but this was probably my 2nd fave 💜 3w
Bookwormjillk Thanks so much counselors. I had so much fun, and I‘m going to miss it! Can‘t wait for next year. I didn‘t mesh with Bandit Queens, but June was a stressful month for me. I‘ll have to give it another try. 3w
Chelsea.Poole I‘m glad I read The Bandit Queens with you all! I learned so much more through our discussions. Thanks for compiling results! Thanks to you three for hosting! @Megabooks @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB !! I‘m already looking forward to camp next summer. 🏕️ 3w
CBee Can‘t wait for camp next year, this has been a blast! Thanks ladies 😊 3w
TheBookHippie Thanks for all your hard work! 🏕️ 3w
AmyG Thank you so much for Camp Litsy!!! It was so fun. 3w
JenReadsAlot Thanks @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain I enjoyed books I probably never would have read! Looking forward to next year! 3w
Meshell1313 🙌 So fun! Thank you so much for hosting! Those were 6 great books that I‘m glad to have read and discussed with everyone! Can‘t wait to see what next year‘s camp brings! 3w
Larkken Thanks for hosting and facilitating the discussions! So much fun! 3w
merelybookish I will have to read it! It's one of the books I missed. Thanks again for all your hard work making #camplitsy rock! @Megabooks @squirrelbrain 3w
julieclair Hooray for the Bandit Queens! And 3 big cheers for our awesome Camp Counselors! 👏🙌👏Looking forward to #CampLitsy24! 🏕️ (edited) 3w
JamieArc A big thanks to our camp counselors for hosting! A few of these will be on my top of the year list, and I‘m sure I wouldn‘t have read most of them (this soon) if not for Camp Litsy! 3w
Bklover I loved that book!! 3w
ChaoticMissAdventures Yay!!! I froze and then forgot to vote when I couldn't decide between this and Yellowface 😂 I liked them both so much! 3w
GatheringBooks Thank you for being such awesome hosts! This is the one book I did not manage to read - but got myself a copy - will be sure to read it soonest! 🙏🏼💕📚 3w
peaknit Thank you for a wonderful camp! 3w
Hooked_on_books No way! I was so sure Yellowface would win. I liked both, but am delighted to see this win! Thanks to you, Helen and Meg for another fun year at camp! @squirrelbrain @Megabooks 3w
dabbe Thanks for being such excellent hosts, @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain
BkClubCare Yay for books and yippee for book friends!! Thanks again to our counselors and everyone! 🌟 3w
Megabooks This book definitely had the best and, as @TrishB put it, least polarizing discussion, and, like Barbara, it really gave me a new appreciation for the book. We read some really great books this summer, and I adore my co-counselors Barbara and @squirrelbrain ! Only 9 months until #CampLitsy24!! 🏕️😎 (edited) 3w
yourfavouritemixtape Thank you so much to all of you for hosting this! It has been my first year and I read so many books I would have never picked up without Camplitsy! 2w
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This was good! Light hearted mixed with serious themes. The power of the women working together is inspiring, and the insight into rural India is interesting

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story that had far more depth than it appeared at first blush. The fact that I already knew the story of Phoolan Devi definitely added to the reading experience. Full review at https://booknaround.blogspot.com/2023/07/review-bandit-queens-by-parini-shroff.h...

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This book really grew on me by the end! A combination of tasteful and sophisticated prose combined with sitcom-like friendship antics made this a great story. Female friendships, caste systems and a colourful cultural setting make this a unique read.

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I went into this book thinking I was going to love it from the start and in reality it took me most of the novel to become invested. In the end, I loved the power of female friendships and the empowerment it spoke of, I just wish I felt that right from the beginning.

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I put this on hold at the library as the WPrize longlist was announced & only just got it! But it was perfect timing for me to lose myself in Geeta‘s life and to RAIL against her awful husband. You could say some of the twists in this book are foreseeable but Shroff does such a great job of character, its so rich in personality and foibles, that who really cares! Oh i just wanted to blow some people up and this was cathartic for me! Loved it 💕

batsy Great review! I really enjoyed it too and yes, cathartic on some level. 1mo
BarbaraBB Fab review 💕 1mo
squirrelbrain Glad you loved it! ❤️ 1mo
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Ruthiella “I just wanted to blow some people up.” 😂😂😂 Great review and awesome background with the book in the picture. Works perfectly. 1mo
CarolynM Hope you‘re feeling calmer now you‘ve had some vicarious revenge😆 Great review💕 1mo
Rissreads 💣💥🤣♥️ 1mo
Suet624 Really unique in how much info she got into the telling of the story. 1mo
64 likes8 comments
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I went in knowing that I really wanted to read this. I picked it for my IRL book club. Assigning it to August had more to do with library availability than anything else. And then it ended up on the longlist for the Women's prize. So I was hopeful. And I wasn't disappointed. I loved it.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
Megabooks Yes, hopeful, funny, and smart! 2mo
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My book club meets later today to discuss this one, so I finished in the nick of time! Geeta‘s story, set in a very small village in northern India, makes for a fast & genuinely engaging read. Five years earlier, her husband vanished & town gossip lays the blame on Geeta as his murderer. When another wife looks to become a widow to stop her alcoholic husband‘s fists, she turns to Geeta for her expertise. The humor balances the violence throughout.

Singout On my to-read list! 2mo
TorieStorieS @Singout I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 😊 2mo
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Read in June😳so late in reviews. In general I liked this novel and the story, which could be absurd sometimes but that I loved that sarcastic humor and there funny scenes. It was so terrible how women were treated and the life of the real “bandit queen” was harder. So interesting about different religious beliefs and cultural traditions. This novel is a debut, so let see what else the author writes in the future. 3.5/3.75⭐️

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Super loved this one, and laughed out loud more than a few times. Something about dark, twisted humor…. Anyway, this is the story of how a small group of women in a rural Indian village come together (tho not easily) to rise up & actually kill their abusive, alcoholic husbands (one of whom was also known to molest children). There‘s a lot packed in, and I thought it was a wild ride. #bookspinbingo #bookspin #bbrc:once bitten

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
LibrarianRyan Looks interesting 2mo
25 likes2 comments
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Forgot to post a review. A soft pick for me. I enjoyed parts of it but the first half didn‘t keep my attention and it took forever for me to finish. Not entirely sure why. Perhaps I couldn‘t get invested in some of the characters. But glad to read it with the #camplitsy crew.

Tamra Didn‘t hold mine either and I bailed. Can‘t quite put my finger on why. 2mo
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On the one hand, this is a well crafted, entertaining girl power novel. But on the other, the powers the women come up against make it difficult to simply enjoy the ride. All men in the story - with 1 exception - are violent, manipulative monsters. The women are mostly selfish and scheming but eventually decide to stick together. Quite a bit of suspension of disbelief is required, but the dialogues are great fun.

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fourteenth book of summer.

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Madcap yet oddly relatable.

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1 tough decision - I tagged one of the best
2 Jodi Taylor: The Good, The Bad and The History
3 Juno Dawson: The Shadow Cabinet
4 Travis Baldree: Bookshops&Bonedust
5 Martha Wells: Witch King
6 Wesley Chu: The Art of Prophecy
7 Shannon Chakraborty
8 Tress of the Emerald Sea
9 ⬆️
10 ⬆️
11 Laura Shepherd-Robinson: The Square of Sevens
12 all on #MountARC?


Thanks for the tag, @Klou

Want to join in? You're tagged. 😁

willaful Heheh. Great hashtag. 3mo
Klou Love that the book that made you cry and made you happy is the same 😂 3mo
julesG @Klou It packs quite a punch for a YA Fantasy. 3mo
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Klou @julesG is that the new Brandon Sanderson one? 3mo
julesG @Klou Yes, it was the first secret project book. Published in January 3mo
Laughterhp Oh no to #5!! I plan to read that this month. 3mo
Klou @julesG is it connected to his other books? I have no idea where to start with his novels. Any tips? 3mo
julesG @Klou I've only read a few of his novels so far. I've been told, by keen Sanderson fans that the avid reader of his fantasy novels will recognise a few minor characters, they have cameo roles. But it is a standalone and can be read without prior knowledge of the Sanderson book-multiverse. In short: it's a very good starting place if you want to try his writing/books 3mo
Klou @julesG oooh I didn't know that. I've held off putting it on my tbr because I wasn't sure if it was vital to read his other books first. Going to add it now though! Thanks! 3mo
julesG @Klou You're welcome! I had the same hesitations. But am glad I gave it a try. 3mo
58 likes10 comments
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This was a fun read. Geeta's husband disappeared 5 years ago, and her village believes she killed him. Other women in the village start going to her to have her get rid of their husbands too.

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I had good intentions of participating in #CampLitsy2023 but things didn't work out as I'd planned. However, I did manage to finish this book which I loved! The characters were wonderful, and I enjoyed both the humour and the exploration of ethical questions that are not so easy to answer.

@BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain

Megabooks So glad you loved it!! 3mo
BarbaraBB You should check out the #CampLitsy23 discussion about the book. It‘s so good and adds a lot to the book for me 3mo
kwmg40 @Megabooks Thanks! 3mo
kwmg40 @BarbaraBB I did, and I really enjoyed reading all the comments! 3mo
42 likes4 comments
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34/23 I am so wildly behind on #camplitsy 😂 because… life. I finished The Bandit Queens last week and am only a little way through Birnam Wood BUT I absolutely loved The Bandit Queens. I found it refreshing, funny, enlightening, and a page turner. It was interesting to read just after Invisible Women as a lot of the story is directly linked to the gender imbalance of the books focus. I loved reading the discussing afterwards too - thanks campers!

squirrelbrain The discussions were so good weren‘t they? They added so much to the book. 3mo
38 likes1 comment
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The Bandit Queen wins this month, and faces off with The Very Secret Society, and the two were just so different, made me feel totally different (cozy satisfaction vs hell yeah badassery), so I‘m going to need some time before the winner makes itself clear.

monalyisha Apparently, I need to add Bandit Queens to my TBR. I wasn‘t initially compelled but all this love has made me reconsider! 3mo
JamieArc @monalyisha I wasn‘t going to read it until it became a #CampLitsy23 pick, but I‘m so glad I did. It was quite the surprise for me. 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc Well, I *WAS* going to read Birnam Wood, and then it became a #CampLitsy23 pick, and then I *STILL* didn‘t read it. 😅 Seems like I might‘ve made the right choice, though. From the snippets of reviews I read (fear of spoilers), I got the impression people could take it or leave it. Bandit Queens, though! Everyone‘s enthralled! 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc I did end up adding it to my TBR. If I don‘t get to it in the next half of the year, I‘m sure it‘ll make its way to me somehow in 2024. Either I‘ll choose it as one of my picks for my IRL Book Club, or I bet it‘ll show up on the list I end up swapping for #AuldLangSpine. 😉 3mo
JamieArc @monalyisha the author of Birnam Wood is a little too literary/smart for me, so Birnam Wood was not my favorite, but so far the Camp Litsy choices have been great. I just finished Yellowface and it will also be on my top of the year list. 3mo
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So, I made it through this. Barely. How is this about sisterhood when the women are terrible to each other most of the time? Full of stereotypes, bad writing and generalisations.
Nuance and subtlety never stood a chance here 😅

SamAnne Thank you. Not loving this one either. Committed to finishing it, but. (edited) 3mo
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The Bandit Queens did quite well in my #fiction #readingbracket2023, but I think I'd have gone down a rabbit hole with Poolan before now so The Postscript Murders just edges it out and becomes my top book for the first half of 2023 as I want to listen to book #3 soon!


LiteraryinLawrence Book 3 by Griffiths was great too! 3mo
51 likes1 comment
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I liked the mood of this novel: dark, funny, and strong female characters. This almost had a slapstick nature to the plot which could have been really annoying and ridiculous, but was actually charming and welcome given the heavy themes of violence, misogyny, and class. However, the plotting was a bit off and I struggled to get through the first third or so before settling in. The moments where true female friendship shined made this worth it. 3⭐️

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Playing catch-up: this was the first book for #CampLitsy23 .

Geeta is alienated by village society because they all think she killed her husband. This reputation suits her fine, even though the truth is, he simply left her. But when another abused woman asks for Geeta‘s help in killing her husband, Geeta has to either fess up or aid and abet. This was a farcical black comedy taking aim at the caste system and women‘s rights in India.

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Unpopular opinion: I am hating it so far.🙈
The characters are all behaving like immature teenagers and I am getting really fed up with stories that seem to feel the need to make all men monsters. I realise this is an attempt at dark humour, but it's not working and the laissez-faire attitude to murder is getting out of hand in this one.
Also there is addressing social issues and there is making a culture all about them.
And there is 7h to go...🙄

SamAnne I'm not hating it, but I'm not sucked in and still have not finished it for the #camplitsy2023 read. I don't think my problems with it are the same as yours, but something is just not grabbing me. #unpopularopinion 3mo
Lunakay @SamAnne Thanks for sharing! I think the writing is not exactly mesmerising, irrespective of the content;) 3mo
20 likes2 comments
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I had wanted to finish this when reading along with #camplitsy23 but for some reason every time I went to read it I fell asleep. I ended up reserving the audiobook at my library. I enjoyed this book with its dark humor and insight into life for women in India.


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Look at this face! Nothing whatsoever to do with this book review but I don‘t have the energy to find the book and create the scene. #CopperBopper #Griff #whpg #TotalWeirdoDogLoveBug

I am giving this 5 star because it made me feel and made me think. It made me mad and it made my heart ache. It impressed me mightily as a debut! And I love that Elizabeth McCracken is one of the author‘s friends. (My dog is a weirdo, so am I.) & I embrace theme 👇

BkClubCare that women need friends and women are fierce and fierce friends are the best. 💪🙋🏻‍♀️🚺🧗‍♀️🦎 3mo
dabbe That photo would win a contest. Gorgeous boy! 🖤🐾🖤 3mo
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks He‘s so handsome 🐾💙 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review, and pup‘s face is sooo gorgeous! 3mo
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain - thx 😊 But was this *REALLY* a review? 😂 I liked it SO much better than this ordeal that Demon Copperhd is putting me thru so far and I think the comparison helped mightily in my rx. 3mo
BkClubCare Book 45 3mo
50 likes7 comments
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I enjoyed our #camplitsy23 discussions so much and am finally posting my review. I love any book about fierce lady friendships and this took that to a whole new level! A story of pain and sacrifice but also of hope and love. A great story to highlight so many injustices that still exist today. I found myself rooting for these women to succeed. 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

squirrelbrain Great review, and I‘m glad you enjoyed the discussions! ❤️ 3mo
BarbaraBB Five stars! CampLitsy suits you! 3mo
BkClubCare I finished late last night and agree 💯% 3mo
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#IWillSurvive made me think of this enjoyable book read this month for #CampLitsy23

Geeta & her idol, Phoolan Devi, India‘s true-life Bandit Queen are strong women & survivors.

Eggs Great interpretation 👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
57 likes1 comment
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An excellent farcical satire set in rural India. A group of women set about murdering their good-for-nothing husbands. Melodrama ensues.

This is one of the most entertaining books I've read in recent years. Maybe my sense of humour is just very dark.

A clever exploration of serious issues that manages to be genuinely funny.


squirrelbrain Great review! ❤️ 3mo
LaraReads Love the review & photo! 3mo
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Cinfhen I really enjoyed this book ! It was much deeper than I expected 🤓 3mo
Branwen Your teapot is so cute! 🥰 3mo
RaeLovesToRead @squirrelbrain @LaraReads Thank you, both! 😊 3mo
RaeLovesToRead @Cinfhen It was such a good read! 😊 3mo
RaeLovesToRead @Branwen The weather is warm again... out comes the teapot! 😁 3mo
Cortg Sounds great! 3mo
BkClubCare Agree! 3mo
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I‘m in the way minority and did not like Bandit Queens however if it leads people to read I, Phoolan Devi : The Autobiography of India's Bandit Queen and learn about her and the plight of women in India that makes me happy. Pictured book I read last year for food and lit and it is just excellent! #camplitsy2023

BarbaraBB Great recommendations, thanks! 3mo
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Tamra I am too! 😂 This looks interesting. 3mo
TheBookHippie @BarbaraBB Had we not done India for #FoodandLit I would have never found these books. One of the reasons I love that challenge! 3mo
TheBookHippie @Tamra I absolutely loved this book. I was fascinated. Pink Sari not Bandit Queens LOL (edited) 3mo
squirrelbrain Thanks for the recommendation! 3mo
Megabooks Thanks for the rec! So interesting to learn about other cultures. 3mo
SamAnne @bookhippie and not loving Bandit Queens quite as much as others either. I love Phoolon Devi‘s story though! 3mo
TheBookHippie @SamAnne 🙃♥️ 3mo
70 likes10 comments
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I‘m behind in my reviews! I read this for #camplitsy and found it highly entertaining. Sometimes the writing got away from her a little bit - like she was trying for more “literary” prose but it ends up sounding forced - but the plot and characters were really well done. I wouldn‘t have expected the dark-comic tone to mesh with the serious social issues being examined, but Shroff strikes a good balance. And the ending is off-the-rails hilarious.

CSeydel I especially loved the wry observations of the police - the interactions between the male and female police officers and how the village women used that to their benefit had me rolling. And Khushi, the Dalit character, was fantastic. 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review! 3mo
56 likes2 comments
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I learned a lot from this book: suppression of women in India, caste clashes, women vs. some awfully evil men, toiling life in an Indian village, the power of women who unite to work together; the list goes on and on. It would have been overwhelmingly sad if not for the stinging humor that threaded its way through the novel. The last chapter should be studied as the epitome of dark humor. Thanks @CampLitsy; I never would have read this w/out you!

BarbaraBB I felt the same! 3mo
dabbe @BarbaraBB 🖤🤍🖤 3mo
Bklover I wholeheartedly agree!!❤️ 3mo
dabbe @Bklover 🖤🤍🖤 3mo
57 likes4 comments
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Is Geeta a #goodheartedwoman in love with a good-timing man? Debatable! #volumesandvocals

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m thinking of reading this next! 3mo
Eggs Sounds so good !! 3mo
willaful I'll allow it. ;-) 3mo
53 likes3 comments
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Read for #CampLitsy23 & it was a great book to start camp with-I loved it! Even if the subjects it delves into like domestic violence, sexual abuse, poverty, discrimination & the caste system in India are serious, it approaches them with a dark, sly wit. A good balance of tension & humor with strong & endearing characters. I loved the #womenpower & friendship themes as well. Thanks to @BarbaraBB for being our camp host & leading the discussions.

BarbaraBB Thank you for being there and adding to the wonderful discussions! 3mo
squirrelbrain Fabulous review, and I think our discussions took this book to another level. 3mo
Megabooks Glad you enjoyed it! The discussion was fantastic. 3mo
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See All 57 Comments
Leniverse I was a bit worried for a while that Karim would become the hero of the story, but that was silly of me as the book was clearly about women demanding and using their agency. I liked the ending. The who-is-at-door scene was hilarious, and very cinematic. And I appreciate the irony of what happened to Geeta's husband. 3mo
LaraReads @Leniverse agreed with enjoying Ramesh‘s comeuppance! It was very fitting, especially with everything that was revealed about him! I really enjoyed the ending! It was chaotic & wild. A little unbelievable but in the best way. And brought all our favorite women together. The takeaway for me is the enormous power of women when we work together instead of tear each other down. Also, a new interest in Indian culture, characters, & history. Loved it! 3mo
JenReadsAlot @LaraReads I completely agree with you! 3mo
Bookwormjillk The ending was tense and hilarious all at once. I enjoyed it. 3mo
BarbaraBB @LaraReads So well said! I couldn‘t agree more. The messiness of the ending did fit the story perfectly and I think with the humorous, light tone that the author uses, she can reach a much bigger public than if she had written it in any other way. 3mo
LaraReads @BarbaraBB YES, for sure. I know some people didn‘t love this one, but I think the majority of us, like me, we‘re HOOKED from the very beginning. Your description of the tone is perfect. I think that‘s what made me feel so drawn in. 3mo
JamieArc I was worried too that Karem would “save” them so I‘m glad that‘s not the case. I was a bit surprised that the female police officer didn‘t show up. I was also worried that the ending would go off the hinges and maybe it did but it worked. I *really* hope this author writes more! 3mo
JamieArc @BarbaraBB Thanks for hosting the discussions around Bandit Queen! This will go on my top books of the year list, and these discussions have made it even better. 3mo
batsy I was worried that the ending was gonna be a bit of a farce, but I think Shroff admirably kept it a bit slapstick & cinematic, but also sort of realistic, without straying too far from the tone set early in the book. I enjoyed this; it was fun but also thought-provoking. My only quibble is the American Valleyspeak; I know it was for humour, but I think she could have tried harder than the "like, totally!" slang that peppered the dialogue ? 3mo
BarbaraBB @JamieArc I completely agree. The discussions make it so much better. I learn so much from all your insights! I love being a host of this book but I couldn‘t have done it without my cohosts! 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you for hosting and for the interesting questions! The discussion has been great. 3mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Yes 🙌🏽 I thought exactly the same. The American slang felt out of place and wasn‘t necessary at all 3mo
DGRachel @Leniverse I couldn‘t agree more about how this shows the power of women when we come together instead of tear each other down. I LOVED the ending. It turned what would have been a depressing read for me into something that I would wholeheartedly recommend and celebrate. Also, I‘ve loved everyone‘s comments and insights so I‘m really glad I hopped on the Camp Litsy bus. 3mo
jlhammar I thought the ending was satisfying and overall just a really fun read despite the serious subject matter. Seems like it would make a great movie or limited series. 3mo
youneverarrived I thought the ending was fab it brought together the two things I loved about the book - the relationship between the women and humour. 3mo
CBee @batsy I agree with you! I loved this book, but the incessant use of “like” was irritating 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ 3mo
CBee I also loved the ending! I wish I had a group of friends like these women! 3mo
Larkken Loved the comedy, it was a nice relief from the violence. I wish the lady police officer had been able to be part of the mess rather than having BB go free and continue diluting drink with methanol 🤢 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse @JamieArc I too was worried about a last-minute intervention from Karem, but I was so happy she had the women solving their own problems, especially with help from the Dalit character. I really appreciated her message of female empowerment and cross-caste (and religion) friendship. I appreciated it even more reading a second time for CL. Thank you to all the campers who have expanded my view of this book and @BarbaraBB for hosting! 🤩 3mo
JamieArc @Larkken I was hoping so too! 3mo
jenniferw88 I loved the ending, and wouldn't be surprised if it becomes one of my top books of 2023. Like @Larkken I wish BB had been caught. 3mo
AmyG @Leniverse Yes, well said. I enjoyed the humor of the book mixed with the sadness, violence, seriousness etc. i wasn‘t too sure about Karem and he was revealed to be exactly the man he truly was. The ending was a bit slapstick(as someone on Litsy had described) but written well. A fun read while also very serious. @CBee….do you need my assistance? 🤣🤣🤣 Thank you @BarbaraBB ….I look forward to the next discussion…of a very different sort of story (edited) 3mo
CBee @AmyG hahaha! So you‘re saying if I need someone killed, I should have you on speed dial? 😂😂 3mo
CBee @AmyG 😂😂😂 You‘re the first person I‘ll call then 3mo
peaknit I thought it was fantastic how these women found their way back to one another, banded together to support themselves and one another. Kareem felt like a feminist supporter, raising his kids and made the perfect side kick to the story. 3mo
CSeydel @batsy @barbarabb I appreciated the “like totally” because it helped me distinguish the twins when they were talking. IIRC it was one of the twins who always said that, although I think Geeta used it ironically toward the end. I think the author might have felt a little challenged, with so many similar characters, to give them all unique personalities/voices. 3mo
Ruthiella I agree with @AmyG and @batsy that the end was a little crowded and slapsticky. But ultimately it worked and was satisfying! Thanks for being our camp counselor this round @BarbaraBB 😊! (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB @AmyG @CBee 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
Cinfhen I loved this book and while the ending was a bit off the rails it “ totally” worked 😉I could really see this as a Netflix series , as you know I‘m currently OBSESSED with all things India. I‘m so glad this book made the Camp list 🥳 3mo
squirrelbrain Good call @Cinfhen - this would make a *great* TV series! 3mo
dabbe The ending was epic for me. Having these women share the goriest parts of motherhood and childbearing and the men now being able to handle it made me laugh so hard I did (literally) almost wet my pants. LOVED it! And @Cinfhen, I also would love nothing more than to see this scene especially on the big screen! Kudos to @BarbaraBB for hosting and for the thought-provoking questions.
willaful I loved how the tense ending got more and more farcical. It reminds me a bit of Donald Westlake. @peaknit I agree, it was great that Kareem stayed as a sidekick rather than being a rescuer. Geeta could choose to enjoy his company in the end, she didn't *need* him. 3mo
sarahbarnes I loved the ending, too, and the farcical humor was a great element of it. I would definitely watch the Netflix series! 😁 Thanks for being a great counselor for our first camp read Barbara! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole And I just have to say that little dog Bandit made me laugh so many times throughout. 😂 3mo
BarbaraBB @Chelsea.Poole Yes, that dog! We cannot not mention him, you‘re absolutely right 🐶 3mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @dabbe @Ruthiella @AmyG @batsy You‘re very welcome. I couldn‘t have done it however without my two co-hosts who lifted the questions another level 🤍 @Megabooks @squirrelbrain 3mo
Meshell1313 I totally liked the ending. Sometimes humor is the only way to deal with horrible situations. What a rollercoaster this book was. The only surprising thing was the cop not showing up! 3mo
CatLass007 I have to say that if it were not a selection for #CampLitsy23 I probably wouldn‘t have chosen to read this book. But I‘m so glad to have started the summer with The Bandit Queens. 3mo
DebinHawaii I loved the ending, a little farce never hurts in my book & I liked the balance of tension & humor. I bought the book on a Kindle sale before #CampLitsy based on the description & I ended up really loving it, so I am glad it was picked! I think it was a great book to start camp with! Mahalo @BarbaraBB for hosting & everyone for the great discussions. It‘s fun to see everyone‘s take on it! 3mo
BarbaraBB @CatLass007 It was a perfect read to start off summer 3mo
Well-ReadNeck Loved the ending. Will be recommending this book especially to dans of Where‘d You Go, Bernadette? 3mo
CatLass007 @BarbaraBB Absolutely. I got Birnam Wood from Audible when it was on sale last month. I thought it was going to be first before I looked again. I am happy I had the chance to read The Bandit Queens. 3mo
Hooked_on_books I thought the ending worked well for the book and was a lot of fun. I read this a while back and I remember feeling uplifted by it. She uses humor so well that she really slyly teaches the reader about life in India while keeping the tone bright. Really well crafted book. 3mo
Christine This was such a fun read that I (as many others have mentioned) would likely have passed by if not for #CampLitsy ! The humor really worked for me, with one highlight being the “Meh” response that was finally given to the assumed rewards of motherhood. 🤣 Thanks @BarbaraBB for leading these great conversations! 3mo
Laughterhp I was not expecting her husband to show up or the BB guy. So I thought the ending was really good. I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it! 3mo
Bklover I‘m so glad I got to read this with all of you! I read an ebook, so now I want a copy of the book. I can‘t even say how much I loved the way humor was used in this book. 3mo
Suet624 Like @Christine said, this book would not have been on my radar without #CampLitsy. And it was such a good read. Thanks to all for bringing it to my attention. 3mo
TheBookHippie 😝 I‘m in the minority and didn‘t like it however if it teaches people about the real life person and the plight of women in this country then I‘m happy. 3mo
CarolynM I‘m sorry I missed the discussion because there was quite a bit to say about this book. I‘m going to read all the comments on these questions and the ones from the previous week. I‘m glad I read it I spite of my reservations, so thanks to you and #CampLitsy for putting it on my radar🙂 3mo
BarbaraBB @CarolynM Good to hear from you. I hope things have quieted down a bit for you ❤️ 3mo
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See All 53 Comments
Leniverse Geeta is a killer, not a murderer. That's my stand. And I think all the killings were self defence and a last resort in a society where the women received no justice or defence under the law. I'm not for vigilantism, provided you have a functioning justice system, but that was clearly lacking here. 3mo
LaraReads Oof, this is a fine line! There was definite justification for these men to face some sort of ramifications! And it was evident that justice would not be served by the Indian judicial system. So, maybe?! 🤣 In this fictional world, yes! Absolutely! In the real world, murder is such an extreme. Maybe as a last resort! 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
BarbaraBB It‘s a thin line indeed but as it is fiction, I think Shroff tries and succeeds in bringing the message of the lack of functioning judicial system loud and clear. 3mo
JenReadsAlot It is a thun line, but I sure was rooting for these women so I'm going with okay! 3mo
peaknit Geeta was initially assumed a murderer, and it eventually served her to keep people away in sense. I felt like the only real killing she committed personally was self defense, but in a country where women can be abused, not so much, sadly. Helping secure poison…accessory to murder maybe? It was such a comedy of errors at times, I‘m not sure a sincere jury could convict beyond a reasonable doubt lol. (edited) 3mo
LaraReads @BarbaraBB agreed! And it was also just so much fun to read, like @JenReadsAlot said, I was still rooting for them even in murder! @peaknit sounds like you‘ve been watching C.I.D. like these women! 🤣🤣 3mo
BarbaraBB Agree @peaknit 💯! 3mo
Bookwormjillk It‘s a good question and I‘m not really sure. Like others have said it‘s a fine line. 3mo
batsy Yes, well put @Leniverse & that's basically how I feel about it, too. I think in an ideal world it's easy to maybe moralise about this, but we all know that the world isn't just. I felt like the last few chapters just made it clear how certain men will never change, & they will just take & take from women & grind them down without a thought. It's pretty bleak, but the women's ability to do something drastic & violent paradoxically feels uplifting. 3mo
JamieArc I‘m always curious about stories where women band together to off their husbands, like the story of Giulia Toffana. I have empathy when there‘s no choice, and you really felt it with Geeta when she thought she was going to have to live with her husband again. You could feel there was no other choice for her. But I agree with every one else that it makes for a fantastic story premise. 3mo
DGRachel @Leniverse and @batsy put it much more eloquently than I could, if I‘m being a reasonable, law-abiding adult. However, as I enter my crone years, I find my rage against patriarchal society to be almost all consuming, so I was completely rooting for these women, especially when they stopped manipulating each other and truly started to support each other. I‘d have voted not guilty if I was on the jury. 🤣🤣 3mo
jlhammar Justified? Maybe. I certainly understand why they might feel it was their only/best option. I agree with @Leniverse and others who saw it more as self-defense and I was rooting for our bandit queens throughout. Yes, @peaknit , a comedy of errors indeed! Really enjoyed that element. 3mo
batsy @DGRachel Haha yes, if I was on the jury I would have done the same! Totally with you on the rage intensifying "as I enter my crone years" ?? 3mo
youneverarrived Agree with all these comments. 😂 @DGRachel I‘d be voting not guilty too. 3mo
jlhammar @JamieArc Okay, now you have me googling Giulia Tofana! Have you read a book about her you‘d recommend? That reminds me that I need to put this true crime title towards the top of my stack. Along the same lines except 1920s rural Hungary 3mo
Megabooks @DGRachel I often feel rage about the patriarchy, and sometimes consider taking things into my own hands, but it is pure fantasy for me. I like the point that there is virtually no chance for fair justice for these women or protection from these men. I understand why they did it, and I think Shroff bringing in humor made it a bit easier to swallow too. 3mo
CBee @batsy @DGRachel I am also guilty of being a grumpy crone 😂😂😂 3mo
CBee There is definitely a difference between being a killer and a murderer. Geeta feels remorse despite knowing there really isn‘t any other choice. I love her idealism, her hope that things can change. But until they do, it‘s almost like kill or be killed, in a way….. all this to say, I felt like it was all justified 😂🤷‍♀️ 3mo
DGRachel @Megabooks Oh yes, it‘s totally pure fantasy for me, too, and I recognize that I have a lot of privilege that Geeta and her loan group do not. The humor saved the book for me, TBH. 3mo
TrishB It‘s fiction and I‘m absolutely all the way with them ♥️ and I‘d probably still vote not guilty in real life. As others have said, if there were no injustices in the first place it‘s different! 3mo
Larkken I think the final straw for me was when they were discussing how the two men who died were raping under caste girls, and Ramesh was like “still?” As though most men went through this phase. Seems like a system that needs burning down to me. And yes, my rage and hopelessness at “the system“ makes this little revenge fantasy more cathartic, if not realistic. 3mo
JamieArc @jlhammar I haven‘t read a book about it (though I would be surprised if there weren‘t one), but I have heard the story on several true crime podcasts. I also thought the storyline from the tagged was taken from Toffana. 3mo
jenniferw88 Totally justified! Was rooting for all of them throughout, and there was no way the police were going to do anything about it. Would love a follow-up to see if any of Geeta's hopes come true and if anything changes with the new policewoman there! 3mo
peaknit @LaraReads haha! I work in corrections, so yes!! 3mo
AmyG I agree on the fiction part. A story told in a way to show the injustice of the system, the patriarchy. As a woman, though, I don‘t blame Geeta. I can‘t imagine living a life with such men. I was cheering her on! (edited) 3mo
Ruthiella Only Farrah‘s husband was murdered, and by Farrah. The death of Peiety‘s husband was manslaughter. But that‘s said, I didn‘t read this novel as realism. I don‘t see it advocating for vigilante justice. 3mo
Cinfhen Of course we were going to root for #TeamGeeta #GirlPower those men had it coming- this was wild and fun and also a wake-up call to how privileged we are compared to other women in different countries and cultures. 3mo
Cinfhen Thanks for hosting, B! 3mo
willaful The book really spoke to the part of me that gets furious when someone in media has a gun on the villain and then can't bring themselves to pull the trigger. Not that I've been in that situation myself, admittedly.

I think if the women had banded together sooner, they might have been able to come up with different solutions, and will very possibly use different ones in the future.
dabbe @CBee Me, too! My nickname at the school where I was a teacher was Crabby Abbe! 🤣🤣🤣 (now everyone knows how to pronounce my last name!) 3mo
CBee @dabbe Crabby Abbe 😂😂 I actually grew up with an Abbe so I knew how to pronounce it 😊😊 3mo
dabbe @CBee Usually, people say Abb or Abe. Way back it was once spelled Abbey, according to my husband. Someone somewhere got lazy and lopped off the Y. 🤣😍🤗 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @Ruthiella great point! I also didn‘t read it as realistic, so it is fun to see these horrible men get their comeuppance. 3mo
CBee @dabbe it is interesting how the Y got lopped off 😂 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @Cinfhen same, re: wake-up call for me in my privileged life. 3mo
sarahbarnes Agree with many others here that I‘m with these women all the way. @BarbaraBB I think you‘re right that the murders also do a great job of illustrating how difficult the position of the women is in their lives. 3mo
CatLass007 I believe that Geeta acted in self defense when she beat her attempted rapist to death with the statue. I believe she acted in self defense for all the women when she shot her husband. I‘m not so sure about Farrah. Yes, her husband was no good, but Farrah underhandedly tricked Geeta into suggesting a method of murder and threatened Geeta with blackmail. Maybe he did deserve to die. I‘m glad I wasn‘t ever forced to make such a decision. 3mo
Meshell1313 Totally self defense and sometimes I understand how violence might be justified and in this case I think it was. 3mo
dabbe @CBee Well, there's more to the history. My maiden name is Churchard, which used to be ChurchYard until that Y got lopped off. An Abbey and a Churchyard. Interesting, yes? 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
CBee @dabbe sounds like it was meant to be 💚😍 3mo
DebinHawaii I proudly join in with the “crone crew” 😉 & was rooting for Geeta & the other women. Those men were beyond redemption & there was not another choice as there would have been no justice for these women or other women & those young girls. I think @Leniverse makes a great point about Geeta being a killer & not a murderer. 3mo
Hooked_on_books Well put, @LaraReads and @Ruthiella —I agree with you both. And @DGRachel crone years! 😂 I love it! 3mo
Well-ReadNeck I felt that the killings were revenge fantasy and part of the over-the-top, comic nature of the novel. 3mo
Laughterhp I definitely don‘t judge her for killing the guy attacking her! Killing the First Lady‘s husband was a bit iffy… 3mo
Bklover @Leniverse I‘m late to the discussion but I think your comment was perfect. I must say, though, I was cheering those women on the whole time! I think I‘m definitely one of the “crone crew” (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck I agree but I think they served the purpose of the book. 3mo
TheBookHippie I think it severed the purpose of the book. I‘m not a fan but I get the reasoning. 3mo
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Hi campers, it‘s time for our next #camplitsy23 activity! @squirrelbrain @Megabooks and I have loved all your insightful comments and thoughts on the first half of The Bandit Queens. Now it‘s time to discuss the rest of the book. We‘ll post 3 questions again and look forward to discussing them. Enjoy!

See All 59 Comments
Leniverse I hadn't heard of her, no. But she seems super interesting, and I might try to track down one of the movies based on her life. Would definitely read her biography. So yes, I think it was a successful tribute. 3mo
LaraReads No, I had not heard of Phoolan Devi. I know that Parini Shroff tried to be very respectful. As a reader I felt she succeeded. To me, she described the horrors she overcame & successes thereafter only to enhance her characters‘ depth. I do not know how Phoolan would have felt though. I know she did not approve of some of the other stories of her life. But to me, this was a respectful tribute. (edited) 3mo
batsy Yes, I knew about her. She was a well-known figure in South Asia, and there's a large SA diaspora in Southeast Asia, so she was in the news. Like when she became Member of Parliament, I was in secondary school, and there was something about her story that definitely spoke to me and my friends (we were in an all-girls school and just discovering feminism, and becoming aware about caste, etc.) I thought the book was a respectful tribute to her. 3mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Like @Leniverse and @LaraReads I didn‘t know her before but I googled her and it felt like Shroff made an honest tribute. Since you knew about her at the time and feel so too I am more confident about that! 3mo
peaknit I did not but now I am curious to do so! I just read a brief history and wow, I think I could read Bandit Queens again and really appreciate it more. I‘m interested in find out more about Devi. (edited) 3mo
JenReadsAlot I had not heard of her and very much enjoyed reading/learning more. 3mo
LaraReads @batsy that‘s really interesting! Thank you for sharing your story! And glad you thought it was respectful as well. 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @LaraReads It was almost mythical, the life she led! I'll always be fascinated. It's pretty great that more people will want to learn about how after reading this 💜 3mo
BarbaraBB @batsy @Leniverse Yes! She needs a much bigger stage, it‘s a shame she didn‘t make it to our news - as far as I know. (edited) 3mo
Bookwormjillk I hadn‘t heard of her, but really enjoyed the author‘s note. 3mo
JamieArc I didn‘t know about her before reading it either, and didn‘t google to see if she was a real person. I‘m curious about the author‘s choice to put this at the end of the book rather than the beginning. I know it‘s customary to do that, but part of me wishes I had known that before. 3mo
LaraReads @Bookwormjillk yes! The authors note added such layers I thought! 3mo
jlhammar I hadn‘t known about her prior to reading this book. I think Shroff succeeded. Thanks to this book, I ordered this graphic biography to learn more about her 3mo
DGRachel Since I had not heard of her before, it‘s hard to say if the story was respectful. Hearing from others who are familiar, though, I certainly feel more comfortable with that statement. She seems like an absolutely amazing woman and I would love to know more about her. 3mo
DGRachel Ooh! @jlhammar thanks for the book suggestion! (edited) 3mo
youneverarrived @batsy that‘s really interesting! .. I hadn‘t heard of her prior to reading this but I loved the repeated mentions of her throughout the book and wouldn‘t mind reading her autobiography. I would say the author succeeded. Although I guessed she was a real person as I was reading it I didn‘t realise she was part of recent history - she felt legendary. (edited) 3mo
Quirkybookworm I couldn‘t read all of your posts because I‘ve got the book and I didn‘t want anything to spoil anything before I read it.😳😂🤣 3mo
Megabooks @jlhammar very interested to read your review since I seem to be going through a graphic nonfiction phase! Could you please tag me? @batsy very cool that she‘s known in Malaysia. So many different ethnicities in your country. (My college roommate was from Penang and lives in KL now.) I wish we got more international news in the US, but unfortunately you really have to purposefully seek it out here! 3mo
squirrelbrain I agree with you @youneverarrived - most of the time I thought she was real but sometimes she fell into legend territory. I certainly thought she was from a long time ago. 3mo
squirrelbrain @batsy - that‘s fascinating that you knew of her in real life - thank you for contributing! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Quirkybookworm I understand! Please come back to the discussion once you finished it. It‘s worth it! If you‘re halfway through you can scroll back to last week‘s discussion! 3mo
CBee I hadn‘t heard of her either and I wish I had! We need more stories about strong, kick ass women! I think Shroff did her justice and gave her the respect she deserves. Thank you for giving a bit more insight, @batsy 😊 3mo
CBee For anyone interested, her autobiography is 3mo
jlhammar @Megabooks Will do! 3mo
TrishB I agree- hadn‘t heard of her but have read up on her now! 3mo
Larkken @batsy mythic seems like a good word to describe her! So very much happened to her, and she accomplished so much. I can see how her life would be inspiring despite the terrible things that happened to her. 3mo
jenniferw88 I hadn't heard of her but thought she was from a long time ago. Will need to read up on her to find out my opinion on whether it's respectful.or not! 3mo
sarahbarnes That‘s so cool @batsy and I‘m guessing that really impacted your reading experience! Like many others here, I hadn‘t heard of her before this book and am disappointed to learn there was such an incredible woman out there in the world and I didn‘t know about her. 3mo
Susanita I hadn‘t heard of her and like @jenniferw88 I thought she was from an earlier age. 3mo
AmyG I never heard of her and also enjyed the author‘s note at the end. 3mo
Ruthiella I had. I‘d seen the 1994 movie Bandit Queen. I later read online about her subsequent political career and assassination. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole Definitely someone to admire! I love reading fiction and finding out about actual people and events I hadn‘t heard of prior. Seems like a great tribute, though I wouldn‘t know otherwise. I‘m with many others: I‘d like to know more about Phoolan Devi. 3mo
Deblovestoread I hadn‘t heard of her and when going down the rabbit hole was surprised to learn she was younger than me. For some reason I was picturing her in the Wild West years. I do intend to read her autobiography. (edited) 3mo
Cinfhen I had not heard of her but would love to read her memoir. This book felt like a respectful outpouring of admiration for the woman, a real role model for the people. 3mo
willaful I also hadn't heard of her and am surprised that she was alive in my lifetime! 3mo
dabbe Like most everyone, I hadn't heard of her either. I love when fiction etc. makes a real person into a legend. And Geeta has her idolized on a wall as inspiration; how many of us have done something similar in our lives? I admit, though, that the people I put on my wall don't hold a candle to her. I think overall the author paid definite homage to her. And @batsy, sheer awesomeness. 😎 3mo
GatheringBooks I was not able to get a copy of this book in time, unfortunately. It sounds like a fascinating read - and one that would most likely resonate with my southeast asian roots - the name Phoolan Devi is not too familiar to me though - one that I should hopefully remedy asap. Am glad to report I have all the other 5 books for #CampLitsy23 though, so am excited to dig into them! 💕 3mo
CatLass007 I had never heard of Phoolan Devi. As an American, I know that our country doesn‘t really care about any non-European culture as a general rule. There are some of us who are concerned about our world but not enough. I guess I just realized how little I know. I believe that her legacy is treated respectfully by Parini Shroff. I think the idea of reading the graphic novel is an excellent one and I‘ve added it to my wish list. 3mo
Meshell1313 Never heard of Phoolan but now I‘m going to look up more info! 3mo
DebinHawaii I had heard a little about her before as The Bandit Queen mentioned in another book but could not have told you her name & didn‘t know that much about her. I think the author did a good job portraying her in a respectful way. I‘m interested in learning more & plan to add the graphic novel to my #TBR (edited) 3mo
Hooked_on_books I had not heard of her before. I think the tribute was respectful because of the choice to not try to portray her directly but rather have her be an inspiration to the main character. I think that works well. I listened to the audio a while ago and I don‘t remember the author‘s note being included, which is too bad (it may have been and I just don‘t remember, but I know they aren‘t always included on audio and I don‘t know why). 3mo
Christine @Hooked_on_books I just finished the audio today and did hear the author‘s note at the very end. (This was in the cloudLibrary app that one of my library systems uses.) 3mo
Laughterhp I hadn‘t heard of her before, but I think she was honored instead of exploited. 3mo
Bluebird I hadn‘t heard of her before reading the author‘s note. Without knowing much more than my quick google search, I think she did a good job in her representation of Phoolan Devi. During my read I thought she was treated respectfully and found her to be inspiring. I plan to read her autobiography too. 3mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books I agree that it worked well to have Devi as inspiration. It gave Shroff a lot more leeway to craft a story that didn‘t hue exactly to the Bandit Queen story. 3mo
batsy @Larkken @sarahbarnes Mythic is definitely the word, though I realise I'm remiss in never reading her biography. Thanks for the reminder @CBee that is definitely something to check out in the future. The graphic novel also sounds so good! 3mo
Bklover @batsy Thanks for sharing your story. It seems to me that the book was written with the intent to honor her. This whole book fascinated me! 3mo
SamAnne I saw a fictionalized movie if her life in my 20s…early 90s? Fascinating. Loving this book. 3mo
TheBookHippie I read and highly recommend 3mo
TheBookHippie @CBee I read it is very good also this is excellent. 3mo
CBee @TheBookHippie I‘ll check it out!! 3mo
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I wasn‘t expecting to like this one as much as I did. I LOVED the humour - for a book with serious and dark topics it had me laughing out loud - it‘s got the perfect balance between dark and light. The friendship between the women was written so well too. The first discussion made me think about the book differently - a great book to discuss. #camplitsy23

squirrelbrain Glad you enjoyed it so much! Looking forward to the discussions again this weekend. 3mo
BarbaraBB It was such an unexpectedly good book. And the discussion brought it to a next level for me. 3mo
youneverarrived @BarbaraBB same for me. 3mo
Megabooks Great review!! 3mo
52 likes5 comments
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I liked this; a fun & entertaining read that was fast-paced. I found myself turning the pages with ease. The multiple issues that plague women in India are always at the forefront, though the author also situates it in context of the oppression of Dalits & discrimination of Muslims. The characters could have easily been stereotypical spitfires, but emerged as more than that. It's a great pick for #camplitsy23 because there's so much to discuss.

RaeLovesToRead I just started it today! 😁 3mo
Books_et_al I have unfortunately just DNFed it at 50% - I have a feeling it‘s me and not the book. 3mo
BarbaraBB The discussion really adds to the book for me! 3mo
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batsy @RaeLovesToRead I hope you enjoy it! 3mo
batsy @Books_et_al Totally understandable 🙂 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Yes! I did have some thoughts on how the language was depicted but I thought I'll save it for the chat 🙂 3mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Very good 👍🏽 3mo
Cinfhen I loved this one too! It‘s much deeper than I initially thought and i can‘t wait for the discussion tomorrow - I agree @BarbaraBB the discussions always ELEVATE my reading experiences and pleasure 3mo
batsy @Cinfhen I agree! Looking forward to seeing everyone's comments. 3mo
Megabooks I‘m really glad you joined our discussion! Your voice added a lot. 😁 3mo
100 likes10 comments
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Traveling by myself for the first time in 4 years…🥰

julesG Enjoy! 3mo
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A great combination of light/humor with serious/informative commentary on the way women are treated and the caste system in contemporary India. I still have much to learn, but I feel that this was a great way to introduce the culture to readers who may be unfamiliar with the way caste operates in daily life. A great discussion book for #camplitsy23. Thanks to camp counselors @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain

CBee I agree! Great review 😊 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @CBee thanks! Looking forward to the rest of our discussion this weekend! 3mo
Megabooks It is such a great discussion book! Looking forward to Saturday. 3mo
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CBee @Chelsea.Poole me too! I want to read it all over again! 3mo
BarbaraJean This picture is making me nervous about the book falling into the pool…😂 3mo
BarbaraBB Agree with all you say. And I love the photo! Your kid climbing out of the pool? 3mo
batsy I agree! Thought she did well to combine the serious and the comedy. 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review! I‘m so glad this book was picked as it has created some many fabulous discussions! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @Megabooks you all are excellent discussion leaders! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @BarbaraJean I will admit, that‘s happened a time or two! 😳🫣 But this one is safe and sound! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @BarbaraBB yes! It‘s my youngest climbing out of the deep end. He‘s a great little swimmer. Seems everything comes easy to that one 🥰 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @batsy yes! The humor certainly helped to highlight the absurdity of the situations and how certain people are treated. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @squirrelbrain it surely has! I‘m not sure I‘d have gotten around to it so soon if it wasn‘t for camp. Thanks for the work you all are putting in! 3mo
BarbaraBB So cute! 3mo
kspenmoll Wonderful review! 3mo
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I found this book entertaining and uplifting despite the difficult themes: abuse, inequality… The author brought the right balance of humor to create a compelling and thoughtful story without it being too dark or too comedic. I did not realize the bandit queen Phoolan Devi was real until reading the author‘s note at the end of the book. I wish I had known earlier-I think that would have added to my read.

BarbaraBB I agree. I googled her halfway through and that did add to the book. We‘ll discuss her Saturday during #camplitsy23! 3mo
Bluebird Thanks @BarbaraBB i‘ll check out camplitsy! (edited) 3mo
27 likes2 comments
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This was between a soft pick and so-so for me. It started slow for me and I almost bailed a few times. I stuck with it, found part‘s interesting and I‘ve enjoyed seeing what others have thought.

Megabooks Glad you‘ll be joining our discussion! 3mo
BarbaraBB Great picture! For me the book was a light pick but the discussion added so much to it. I hope it will do so again on Saturday 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! I got sidetracked and didn't end up reading this one 😂 3mo
Read4life I agree @BarbaraBB . I‘m looking forward to the discussion again for the same reason. 3mo
65 likes4 comments
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I loved this book! It deals with so many dark, sad topics, but manages to do so with humor. The author injects levity at some of the oddest moments… but it works. What really comes through is the power of women‘s friendships, even when the women are flawed, or oppressed, or sometimes not even very nice. This would make a great movie!
Great choice to kick off #CampLitsy23 . Can‘t wait for part 2 of our discussion.

Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it too! 3mo
squirrelbrain So glad you loved it! Looking forward to our discussions this weekend. 3mo
LaraReads Yes! It would make a great movie! 🎬 3mo
JamieArc I agree! I would love to see a movie or series of this! 3mo
BarbaraBB The discussion adds so much to the book! Looking forward to Saturday! 3mo
38 likes5 comments
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This is my first outstanding read since January. I *loved* it. The nuance and complexity, the humor in the midst of heavy situations, the fantastic dialogue. As a non-violent Quaker, I feel a little sheepish at adoring a book so full of violence. I also really appreciated the author‘s commentary on things like motherhood, gender, and caste. I‘m not sure I would have read this if not for #CampLitsy23. Looking forward to our next discussion.

JamieArc Photo taken last week preparing to hear Luis Alberto Urrea talk about his new book. 4mo
Megabooks So glad you loved it! I have the Urrea checked out from the library. 4mo
paper.reveries Always great to read out of our normal zones! Glad it paid off. :) 4mo
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dabbe I almost wet my pants reading the main last scene! 🤣😍🤗 4mo
JamieArc @Megabooks I haven‘t read it yet but his reading was great (will post about that later). I‘m sure it will be a great great. 4mo
JamieArc @dabbe I had some visceral reactions. Lots of snorts, laughs, and Yes! I‘ll put one in the spoiler below for you. 4mo
JamieArc @dabbe After reading the first half, I was hoping the Dalit woman (forgetting her name) would end up helping them. When Geeta goes to her home and she does agree to help, I pumped my fist with a big “Yes!” 😂😂 4mo
dabbe @JamieArc Me, too! 💙💚💙 The way they talked about their problems after having babies to BB and Ramesh ... that's where I totally lost it. These horrible men couldn't even remotely handle it! 🤣🤣🤣 4mo
youneverarrived Great review! I feel the same I don‘t think I would have read it if not for camplitsy. 4mo
LaraReads Great review! Agree with everything you wrote! This book just hit all the right notes of everything you said. 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I really loved this one too! 4mo
batsy I enjoyed this, too! It moved along at a great pace. 4mo
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Loved this! The almost slapstick bits and the women-coming-together were my favorite parts. Thanks, #camplitsy, for making me finally pick this one up! This was one of my votes, and I‘m glad it lived up to my expectations.

squirrelbrain Glad you enjoyed it! Looking forward to our next discussion this weekend. 4mo
AmyG Same here. I really enjoyed it. Funny and yet quite sad. 4mo
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I loved this powerful, ultimately encouraging book. I hope the author will be favoring us with more books in the future. I don‘t think I would have listened to this book if it hadn‘t been chosen for #CampLitsy23 My thanks to @BarbaraBB for hosting the June selections.

BarbaraBB You‘re very welcome! I am glad you were able to get a copy of the book in time 🧡 4mo
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