The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey


      The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey, narrated by Soneela Nankani, Recorded Books, (9781501980152), 2018

Format: cd audiobook, 12 discs

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Historical mystery

What did you like about the book? Massey provides a unique look at life in India in the 1920s. Eighteen-year-old Perveen Mistry is the only female at law school.  Though she is a top student, the males relentlessly bully her in her classes. So when she meets a charming young man who sweeps her off her feet, she drops out of school and marries him only to discover that he married her for her family’s money.  He and his family physically and mentally abuse her.  She escapes back to her family where she then attends law school in Oxford, England, returning to join her father’s law firm, though women are not permitted to pass the Bar.  Being a woman, however, does have its advantages as she can speak with women when men cannot.  She is involved in settling the estates of the three widows and their children of Malabar Hill after their husband dies only to discover that they may be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian – who then ends up murdered. This is a riveting historical mystery inspired by a woman who made history as Indian’s first female attorney. Soneela Nankani excellently presents Perveen, the widows, the scoundrel husband and Perveen’s wealthy English friend and all others in the cast of characters..

Anything you did not like about this book?  No.

 To whom would you recommend this book?  Not only is this a very intriguing mystery but also one glimpses what life was like for women in early 20thcentury India.

 Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Audiobooks, mystery

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, or close to.

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 5/14, 2018

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