Madhuri Banerjee is a writer that I love reading immensely. She has the talent of hooking your interest right from page one. So when I saw her latest on Flipkart, I didn't think twice about clicking on the 'Buy' button. I have been following the author on her blog for a long time now and I love the way she tackles subjects like sex and relationships.
From the book cover- Sapphire Towers: just another residential high-rise in Mumbai where the humdrum routine of daily life carries on with clockwork precision. But, beneath the tranquil surface lurks a web of deceit and lies spun by a group of lonely housewives.
Gita, frustrated mother of two young daughters, longs to escape the monotony of her marriage—and lusts after a forbidden relationship. Sarita, conservative Gujarati housewife and mother, is addicted to kinky sex and pays a dear price for it. Stylish working mother, Aarti, nurses an appalling secret that could end her marriage. And sultry ex-model Natasha, who seems to have it all, is hopelessly in love with a much younger man—the son of one of her friends.
Even as these women scramble to conceal their darkest secrets, an anonymous email is sent out to all the residents of Sapphire Towers, and has horrific consequences.
Racy and unputdownable, Scandalous Housewives: Mumbai is the first book in the sizzling new series by bestselling author Madhuri Banerjee, which tell the stories of the unsung housewives of urban India who will go to any lengths to fulfil their deepest, darkest desires.
My Take: When I read the blurb and the title of the book, I was reminded about the popular TV show - Desperate Housewives that I had recently finished watching. I was a bit disappointed at first when I felt it was too similar to the TV show. Natasha, the ex-model reminded me of Gabrielle Solis in the show who has an affair with a younger man and the stylish working mother- Aarti reminded me of Lynette Scavo. But that was where the resemblance ended.
A few pages into the novel and I was engrossed well into the story. I loved how the author has chosen to end each chapter in suspense, making the reader want to continue to the next one. At first, I was bit irritated and skeptical since a lot of the housewives are portrayed to be doormats to their husbands and in-laws, even though all of them are strong willed and educated.
But towards the end of the story, I'm glad to say that my assumption went for a toss. All the four housewives are believable and are the women we see around us, if we look carefully. As Gita begins an affair with her brother-in-law, Aarti bumps into her ex at a party-who offers her all that is missing in her marriage. While Natasha has a fling with her best friend Sarita's son, Sarita and her husband have their own secrets in their bedroom, one that can be quite scandalous when it comes out.
The turning point of the story is the anonymous email that gets circulated among the residents of Sapphire Towers threatening to reveal all the deadly secrets that the housewives guard with all their heart. The story is engrossing and keeps your interest right till the last page. I finished reading the book in couple of days straight as I simply had to know what happened next.
The sex scenes in the book are nicely done without being vulgar. Madhuri also writes about a lot of issues that many urban families would like to keep under wraps- be it the bedroom secrets, handling adolescents or the choices that a woman is forced to make by the so called society. If you like reading books by Shobhaa De like me, then this is the book for you. Though the novels written by Shobhaa De have a stronger plot line and her heroines are much more reckless, Madhuri's stories are much more toned down making it a lot more believable, if you know what I mean.
What I didn't like was the book cover. I really wish the publishers could have picked up a more suitable jacket that did justice to the story inside. Though I have read all the novels by Madhuri, I must say that this was her best one so far. I have enjoyed reading her previous works but she handles a lot of sensitive issues in this one, that its hard to ignore the fact. It's rather evident how much she has grown as a writer with Scandalous Housewives. I would definitely give this one a four stars on five.
I highly recommend this book if you like reading Indian writers like Shobhaa De. It's a very well written and edited book and I'm sure that you would not regret a waste of money or time after reading this one. This one is a part of a series and I know that I would grab the next one as soon as it's out! Moreover, you shall get all the answers to the one question that is written on the book cover:
What happens when what lies between the sheets becomes the linen that is washed in public?
Bottom line- I loved it!