Geeta is ostracized by her small Indian village after her spouse disappears. The townspeople are convinced that Geeta murdered her drunken and abusive husband. So, when Farah decides to do the same to her drunken and abusive husband, of course she asks Geeta for help. The two women’s stories parallel a historical heroine, so they take her nickname and think of themselves as The Bandit Queens too. But soon their plan, and partnership, falls apart as life intervenes.
While the characters feel genuine, the plot moves slowly. Based on the publisher’s blurb and cute cover illustration, I was expecting a dark comic tale. However, The Bandit Queens is anything but light reading. Hopefully, this is not an accurate depiction of village life in India today. It definitely shows modern day India in a very unflattering, and sexist and elitist, light. While the book was a disappointment for me, it is an extremely well-written feminist tale that you won’t soon forget. 3.5 stars!
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.