The illuminated


After the sudden death of her celebrated husband, Shashi is alarmed to realise that overnight, she has lost her life’s moorings. Meanwhile, their fiercely independent daughter Tara, a Sanskrit scholar, has been drawn into a passionate involvement with an older man, which threatens to consume her in ways she did not imagine possible. Amidst a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in India that is determined to put women in their place, Shashi and Tara attempt to look at themselves, and at each other, in a new light. But is it possible to emerge from an eclipse unscathed?

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‘One of the best books for January 2023’ CosmopolitanAgainst a rising tide of fundamentalism in India, a mother and daughter lose the most important man in their lives. Shashi, fifty-something and suddenly widowed, tries to contact her only daughter, Tara, to break the news, but cannot reach her. As Shashi confronts her loss, she finds, amidst grief, unexpected new freedoms.Meanwhile, Tara, a spoiled but brilliant university student, has retreated to Dharamsala to deal with the fall out from an ill-advised relationship. Her self-imposed solitude makes contact near impossible, so by the time she learns of her loss, the funeral is already over.Without the man that bound them, Shashi and Tara struggle to reconcile. But his absence also makes them a target for an emerging religious group determined to put women in their place, and Shashi and Tara individually prepare to defend their independence.If mother and daughter are to come together, they must find a way to understand both their new world, and each other. But can you ever emerge from an eclipse unscathed?’An extremely elegant work… on the universality of feminism from a uniquely Indian perspective.’ Irish Independent‘Lyrical throughout yet so deceptively easygoing… an extraordinary novel’ André Aciman‘Powerful, evocative and accomplished – it’s hard to believe The Illuminated is a debut’ Alice Ryan‘Sad and funny and wise… will make you hug your loved ones tight’ Akhil Sharma‘Sheds a glowing lunar light on hidden truths… remarkable… poignant” LoveReading

Additional information

Weight 0.454 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.5 cm