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From ‘The Book Thief’ To ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, Books That Narrate Heartbreaking Stories Of Daughters

September 25, 2022 | by Kinjal Panchal

Being the eldest daughter in my house has not given me any perks as eldest siblings in other households have. And the reason behind this has been because I am a daughter, obviously! The restrictions that desi parents put on their daughters are suffocating. The way we are raised is unfair on so many levels and this plays a very important role in what kind of individual we become in the future. As much as daughters are treated as precious, it is high time that desi parents understand that clipping our wings will do more harm than good because when we finally fly, we end up falling the most because have not been taught how to use our wings properly.

On that note, I would like to inform you that it is International Daughter’s Day on September 25, 2022. If you have been reading my articles, you would also have realised that I am a book nerd who loved reading books! If I could, I would forever live in a fictional world. But *sigh* that is not possible. Of the loads of books I have read, there have been a couple that have had daughters in the spotlight. So, what better day than Daughter’s Day to dish out some solid book recommendations that have a great plot surrounding betiyaan!

Not Without My Daughter – Betty Mahmoody with William Hoffer

The plot of this novel revolves around Betty, who along with her 4-year-old daughter, reluctantly agrees to come to Iran so that he could meet his family. But her husband traps them there and also confiscates their passports so that Betty cannot return to the US. Many opportunities come up for Betty to flee but every time, it is her young daughter she would have to leave behind. But she lets those opportunities go because she does not want to leave her daughter behind. I was appalled by what Betty had to go through. But I will always salute her resilience for putting up with all the horrible things her husband’s family put her through.

 

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A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

You can call me a twisted person for re-reading those books that I know will break my heart, but that’s just who I am. And Khaled Hosseini’s books always find their name on that list. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story about Mariam, who is her father’s illegitimate daughter and is forced to marry a shoemaker. That man, in turn, decides to take on another wife, Laila, and he puts both of them through hell. This book is painstakingly heartbreaking. Khaled’s writing makes you live what his characters go through.

 

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Henna Artist – Alka Joshi

The plot of the book revolves around Lakshmi who escapes an abusive marriage and comes to Jaipur where establishes herself as a number 1 henna artist. But here, she has to tread carefully as even the most elite of society are jealous of her and want to ruin her. This book is my only favourite book by an Indian author. Lakshmi is my inspiration and I thoroughly love her for how she navigates through the problems of her life. The book beautifully portrays that despite always looking out and fending for herself, she is a human being at the end of the day, who can also make mistakes and slip up.

 

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The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Aah. I will always believe that The Book Thief holds the potential to become a modern classic. This story revolves around Liesel Meminger who is adopted by Hans and Rosa Hubermann during World War 2. The environment in Germany is already thick with tension with all the anti-Jew propaganda spread by Hitler’s government. Amid this, Liesel’s parents offer shelter to Max, a Jew. This book tugged at my heartstrings like no other. I was anxious and weeping throughout the book. How Liesel comes to love reading books, grows fond of Max and also forges a strong bond with Rudy, her neighbour is a story you cannot put down.

 

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Also read: 4 Books That Sensitively Navigate The Subject Of Suicide

Difficult Daughters – Manju Kapur

The plot of this one revolves around a young woman who finds herself torn between pursuing her education, her duty toward her family and her love affair with a married professor. Virmati goes ahead and marries the professor causing a huge scandal. But he helps her study further as a consolation for the trouble caused. The plot is set against the backdrop of the Partition. This book highlights how a woman struggles with establishing her independence while also suffering the consequences of her actions.

 

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5 Books On Partition Written By Female Authors That Recount Bone-Chilling Stories Of This Historic Event

Kinjal Panchal

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