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Well-Behaved Indian Women

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From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams. Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's li From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams. Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart. Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children's sake. It isn't until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she's spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she's let herself slip away. Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she'll never be able to fix---or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden.


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From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams. Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's li From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams. Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart. Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children's sake. It isn't until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she's spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she's let herself slip away. Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she'll never be able to fix---or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden.

30 review for Well-Behaved Indian Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Simran is a writer and psychologist, judged by her mother, Nandini, who feels writing isn’t a “job.” When a journalist comes knocking, it makes Simran question her career and her engagement. Nandini, Simran’s mother, has done the best she can to provide a good life for her children. She faces racism in the workplace and at home, she is often placating her husband’s difficult family. Her ideal in life has been to be the “Perfect Indian Woman.” Mimi is the mother of Nandini. She feels like a failure Simran is a writer and psychologist, judged by her mother, Nandini, who feels writing isn’t a “job.” When a journalist comes knocking, it makes Simran question her career and her engagement. Nandini, Simran’s mother, has done the best she can to provide a good life for her children. She faces racism in the workplace and at home, she is often placating her husband’s difficult family. Her ideal in life has been to be the “Perfect Indian Woman.” Mimi is the mother of Nandini. She feels like a failure as a mother, but she strives to be a good grandmother to Simran. Well-Behaved Indian Women is incredibly well-written. It’s a story about how women don’t often follow our dreams, how we strive for certain ideals that culture or society dictate. The characters are complex and lovable. This is very much a character-driven book, and I adored every bit of watching them grow as their relationships were tested. This is such a gem of a book, and I look forward to more from Saumya Dave in the future. I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Reid

    This debut is such a great story about mothers and daughters over three generations. Simran, Nandini, and Mimi are all incredibly different women, navigating the world the best they can—and to see the way they support and challenge one another reminded me of some of the most pitch-perfect moments in another wonderful grandmother-mother-daughter story, Jane the Virgin.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I loved this novel so much. It’s really well written. After seven years of dating Kunal behind their parents’ backs, Simran and Kunal are engaged, right on schedule. Kunal is in medical school and Simran is almost finished with her master’s degree in psychology. Her parents think it’s cute but not impressive that she got a collection of her essays published by a small press. Writing is not a real career to her India-born parents, who’s coupling was the result of an arranged marriage. The fact tha I loved this novel so much. It’s really well written. After seven years of dating Kunal behind their parents’ backs, Simran and Kunal are engaged, right on schedule. Kunal is in medical school and Simran is almost finished with her master’s degree in psychology. Her parents think it’s cute but not impressive that she got a collection of her essays published by a small press. Writing is not a real career to her India-born parents, who’s coupling was the result of an arranged marriage. The fact that Simran got to choose her own mate should mean she has nothing to complain about. But when she meets another writer she admires, she’s instantly drawn to him, and everything she thought she wanted from her life is called into question. One of the great things about reading books is that you get to learn about other cultures—what is great about them and what you’re grateful is not part of the way you grew up. The expectations of Simran’s mother Nandini would have driven me into an insane asylum—she’s a doctor, but she was forced to be a family physician with regular hours. She never has enough time for her patients, especially because she has to be the doctor to all of her family members and all of her in-laws while her husband gets to be a surgeon with his own practice. Simran travels to India where many girls stop their education when they begin to menstruate, sometimes getting married because their parents can’t afford her. The parents stress about coming up with a dowry. In America, Nandini and her husband are paying for everything for the wedding, which in no way stops Kunal’s mother from demanding a whole heck of a lot. This is a book about the ways women of all ethnic backgrounds sometimes don’t get to fully follow our dreams. There are complex characters and situations and no easy answers. Recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES JULY 14, 2020.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Simran Mehta is pursuing a master’s in psychology at Columbia but loves writing, enough that she’s recently published a book of essays. When New York Times columnist Neil Desai shows up at her book party, he sparks disorder in Simran’s life by strengthening her confidence in herself as a writer but has her questioning her commitment to her fiancé Kunal, a medical student. Her mother Nandini, is a doctor but was raised traditionally under Indian culture, including her arranged marriage and accept Simran Mehta is pursuing a master’s in psychology at Columbia but loves writing, enough that she’s recently published a book of essays. When New York Times columnist Neil Desai shows up at her book party, he sparks disorder in Simran’s life by strengthening her confidence in herself as a writer but has her questioning her commitment to her fiancé Kunal, a medical student. Her mother Nandini, is a doctor but was raised traditionally under Indian culture, including her arranged marriage and acceptance of the demands put upon her by her husband’s extended family. She and Simran clash frequently as she attempts to guide her into more acceptable behaviors. But her own mother, Mimi Kadakia who lives in India, is more supportive of Simran’s independent nature and gives counsel to both as they try to find a peaceful connection. One of my reading goals is to broaden my understanding of different cultures and when I first saw this title, I got excited because it appeared to be just what I was searching for in learning more about the modern Indian woman. This story far surpassed my expectations since it provided the perspectives of three generations of women who all were grappling with cultural demands in current times as well as their own private hopes and desires. These are complicated women who are smart, talented and insightful. Simran is a modern Indian woman but straddles the cultural conventions and her own independence, trying to figure out what’s really her own choices versus those from conditioning. Nandina is truly an enigma with a secret past that has somehow formed who she is today, a seemingly contradiction. Mimi is the catalyst who forces the three of them to communicate more honestly with each other and themselves. I loved this story and appreciated how much I learned about authentic Indian culture from women’s perspectives in these well defined characters. It took a bit to engage me because I was immediately thrust into a world that was somewhat confusing. However, it didn’t take long for me to adapt and appreciate that beginning. I chose to listen to the story, which was ideal for me as the narrator elevated the story through her skill at accents, storytelling and pacing. I always knew which of the three points of view was in focus as each was given a distinctive voice that seemed to fit well. I also loved the ending, not perfect but right for the characters and the story. This was a wonderful listening experience and an extraordinary debut. I’m definitely in for the next book. Posted on Blue Mood Café (Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Blankfein

    Well Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave is a mother-daughter story, about Indian women, culture, relationships, and life choices. I really enjoyed this one and learned a lot from my book club discussion with the author. Simran is in her 20s, pursuing a degree in psychology and she also has just written a book. Her parents, Nandini and Ranjit Mehta are both doctors and are encouraging her to follow in their footsteps, treating her writing efforts as a hobby. With the pressure to have her life all Well Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave is a mother-daughter story, about Indian women, culture, relationships, and life choices. I really enjoyed this one and learned a lot from my book club discussion with the author. Simran is in her 20s, pursuing a degree in psychology and she also has just written a book. Her parents, Nandini and Ranjit Mehta are both doctors and are encouraging her to follow in their footsteps, treating her writing efforts as a hobby. With the pressure to have her life all figured out, she is engaged to be married to Kunal, her high school sweetheart, who is studying to become a doctor, but she becomes distracted when she meets her handsome writing idol, Neil. Simran begins to question her career choice and her attraction to Neil is undeniable. Attempting to stay true to Kunal and taking a break from her studies, Simran travels to India to visit her grandmother, Mami. Simran’s relationship with her mother could be rocky yet she has a special relationship with her grandmother that is easier to navigate. Mami shares some family secrets which give Simran insight when it comes to her mother and her actions. Throughout the book, all three women are on their personal paths to self discovery and their relationships with each other morph and deepen as they grow. The pressures of Indian family expectations and tradition, combined with the urge to please creates difficult situations where Simran, her mother and grandmother have to make big life affirming decisions. Amongst temptation, and with a refocus on their goals, interests and talents, these strong women choose to follow their own paths. I had the wonderful opportunity to welcome Saumya Dave to my book group and we had informative and thoughtful discussion surrounding the characters in the book as well as Indian culture and traditions (including arranged marriages and mother-in-laws). We learned how her husband inspired the character of handsome, charismatic Neil, how she received 10 rejections from publishers the day she got married and over 100 in total, and how readers at publishing houses wanted to hear more about Nandini, a character that experienced struggles and exemplified strength and courage. Well-Behaved Indian Women is a great read and has so much to offer. I highly recommend it! Saumya Dave’s next book takes place in Atlanta and touches on Indian and Jewish culture with mental health as the focus. Check out my interview with author Saumya Dave on Book Nation by Jen https://booknationbyjen.com/2020/09/3...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    I’m always excited when I discover a debut desi author and when I first saw this book being promoted, I instantly fell in love with that cover. And despite it belonging to the women’s fiction genre (which I don’t read a lot), I decided I wanted to give it a try. And here I am after finishing it in a single sitting because I couldn’t put it down. This is essentially a story about a mother and her daughter, both trying to understand each other and themselves better and also trying to make the righ I’m always excited when I discover a debut desi author and when I first saw this book being promoted, I instantly fell in love with that cover. And despite it belonging to the women’s fiction genre (which I don’t read a lot), I decided I wanted to give it a try. And here I am after finishing it in a single sitting because I couldn’t put it down. This is essentially a story about a mother and her daughter, both trying to understand each other and themselves better and also trying to make the right choices for the next phase of their life. The writing in this book is so accessible and easy to get lost in, that I didn’t even realize how much time had passed before I even took a break from my reading. The way the author captures the feelings, emotions, guilt, self hatred, confusion, ambition, and so much else about these two women - (who are the products of a very specific Indian patriarchal society that burdens the women to give their all for the sake of their families at the expense of their own needs and desires )- is thoughtful and poignant and very relatable. To be honest, I was frustrated and angry most of the time while reading the book, not because there was anything wrong with the story or characters but because of the exact opposite. It was too realistic and I felt like I was being shown a mirror of my own life (and future) and those of many women I know, and I frankly wasn’t ready to face it. And I have to commend the author for getting such a strong reaction out of me. You may be thinking why is my review so short which is kinda unusual for me, but as I said, this book was brilliantly written and was too realistic in a way that made me uncomfortable and I didn’t want this review to become a personal rant. If you are someone who loves reading books about complicated women, their dreams, fears, ambitions and relationships, then I would definitely recommend this book to you. I loved the message that sometimes, it’s important for us women to standup for ourselves and being ambitious or indecisive, both are okay.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    [2.5] Unfortunately, this novel about three generations of women does not live up to its intriguing title. Simran, the center of the story, is particularly obtuse. It takes her several hundred plodding pages to finally break free from her family's expectations. [2.5] Unfortunately, this novel about three generations of women does not live up to its intriguing title. Simran, the center of the story, is particularly obtuse. It takes her several hundred plodding pages to finally break free from her family's expectations.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    It is often an enlightening experience reading about different cultures. Many of us seem to think that because one has lived in this country they automatically adopt the ways of the populace. In this book, we find profiled three Indian women, grandmother, mother, and granddaughter who although progressed in a limited way, find that they still have a long way to go. Mimi Kadakia, the grandmother fears she had done such an injustice to her daughter, Nandini. Living in India, she and her husband fol It is often an enlightening experience reading about different cultures. Many of us seem to think that because one has lived in this country they automatically adopt the ways of the populace. In this book, we find profiled three Indian women, grandmother, mother, and granddaughter who although progressed in a limited way, find that they still have a long way to go. Mimi Kadakia, the grandmother fears she had done such an injustice to her daughter, Nandini. Living in India, she and her husband followed the age-old custom of selected an appropriate groom for their daughter, Nandini. This marriage does prove to be a disaster and the shame of divorce arrives. In order to overcome the embarrassment, they arrange another marriage to a man who is on his way to becoming a doctor, but he also comes burdened with shame. The couple comes to America where Nandini pursues her education, becoming a general practitioner in a clinic. The marriage travels its own rocky road but the family increases when Nandini gives birth to a boy and then a girl, Simran Mehta. As Simran grows to womanhood, she wants to pursue a career in writing, but naturally to this Indian family so intent on success, this seems more like a hobby not a profession. Simran is pressured into pursuing higher education and when we first meet her, she is studying for a doctorate in clinical psychology. She is engaged to a childhood friend, an overly ambitious doctor and seems to be wandering down a path that closely resembles her mother's. However, into her path comes a charismatic writer and she is drawn to him and therefore jeopardizes her marriage plans. Emotions simmer and Simran is an effort to find her true path heads to India and her grandmother. Mimi holds her granddaughter and really all young women in high esteem as she struggles to bring some modernity to her village, while at home Nandini makes a choice that has consequences for her life. The three women face both an emotional as well as physical barrier to the concept of self-awareness. Always bending, (although Mimi shows some spark) to the will of both family and a country deeply seeded in tradition, they all have an uphill battle to achieve a modicum of freedom in their decisions and a way to find themselves as strong independent women. The book very nicely presented these women but I did find I had some trouble staying focused at times. There seemed to be some repetition and I thought the story could have been shortened. I will admit I did struggle with it at times and might have cast it aside were it not a book club selection. I think too, it might be hard for the modern American women to understand the why and how these brilliant women allowed themselves to fall into the long and winding road that had been chosen for them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    I listened to the audio which was great. The Aunties in the book had things to say and I loved hearing it. I only miss that I couldn't underline the parts that made me want to message the author. By the references in this story, I am willing to bet we crossed paths at some point in NYC during our years of training. Did all overworked residents go to Souk to unwind? To be clear, you do not need to be brown or medical or well-behaved to enjoy this story. I listened to the audio which was great. The Aunties in the book had things to say and I loved hearing it. I only miss that I couldn't underline the parts that made me want to message the author. By the references in this story, I am willing to bet we crossed paths at some point in NYC during our years of training. Did all overworked residents go to Souk to unwind? To be clear, you do not need to be brown or medical or well-behaved to enjoy this story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori Spielman

    I loved this book, from its mysterious prologue to its satisfying end! Saumya Dave weaves a spellbinding tale seeped in Indian culture, ripe with conflict, and filled with characters who’ll capture your heart. This sumptuous tale of hope and love and family loyalty will resonate with any woman seeking the courage to resurrect an abandoned dream. Don't miss this one! I loved this book, from its mysterious prologue to its satisfying end! Saumya Dave weaves a spellbinding tale seeped in Indian culture, ripe with conflict, and filled with characters who’ll capture your heart. This sumptuous tale of hope and love and family loyalty will resonate with any woman seeking the courage to resurrect an abandoned dream. Don't miss this one!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    4.5 Stars! This beautiful debut novel, Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave, explored the relationships between three generations of mothers and daughters of Indian descent. I always loved reading books about Indian culture and this one revealed so many aspects of it. It explored arranged marriages and the sacrifices and burdens indian women faced as a result, the importance of education for children of Indian immigrant parents including good grades and prosperous and respectable careers, an 4.5 Stars! This beautiful debut novel, Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave, explored the relationships between three generations of mothers and daughters of Indian descent. I always loved reading books about Indian culture and this one revealed so many aspects of it. It explored arranged marriages and the sacrifices and burdens indian women faced as a result, the importance of education for children of Indian immigrant parents including good grades and prosperous and respectable careers, and doing what is expected and mandated from birth. The chapters alternated between Simran Mehta, a twenty something year old American born Indian girl struggling to find her dream career, Nandini Mehta, Simran’s mother and Mimi Kadakia, Simran’s grandmother and Nandini’s mother. It seemed like Saumya Dave drew from her own life experiences to make this book current, authentic and meaningful. I received a complimentary digital copy of Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave from Berkley publishers through a goodreads give away. I highly recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    I've really been enjoying the upsurge of multicultural historical and contemporary fiction that's been published lately. I so wanted to enjoy this story of three generations of Indian women. Grandmother Mimi Kadakia, mother Nandini Mehta and daughter Simran Mehta. All are locked not only into their intergenerational challenges, cultural and racial discords, but their personal challenges. All great tension building opportunities, however for some reason I just didn't engage to the degree I'd hop I've really been enjoying the upsurge of multicultural historical and contemporary fiction that's been published lately. I so wanted to enjoy this story of three generations of Indian women. Grandmother Mimi Kadakia, mother Nandini Mehta and daughter Simran Mehta. All are locked not only into their intergenerational challenges, cultural and racial discords, but their personal challenges. All great tension building opportunities, however for some reason I just didn't engage to the degree I'd hoped I would. A Berkley Group ARC via NetGalley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Saumya Dave's debut novel Well-Behaved Indian Women had powerful themes around the importance of family, the loving and yet stultifying nature of community, and what it means to be an Indian woman—and a woman at large—in our society. Simran and Nandini in particular could both be equally empowering and frustrating characters, and I loved that they contained multitudes. That said, I had issues with the lack of plot throughout the book (especially in the first half) and the pacing throughout. After Saumya Dave's debut novel Well-Behaved Indian Women had powerful themes around the importance of family, the loving and yet stultifying nature of community, and what it means to be an Indian woman—and a woman at large—in our society. Simran and Nandini in particular could both be equally empowering and frustrating characters, and I loved that they contained multitudes. That said, I had issues with the lack of plot throughout the book (especially in the first half) and the pacing throughout. After a certain point, it felt like we were going in circles with the same conflicts over and over again, only for them to suddenly evaporate at the very end of the novel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I had finished watching "Indian Matchmaker" on Netflix and enjoyed it so much. This book felt like an extension of that show. A generational story of three women and the effects of arranged marriage and love marriage. Great debut I had finished watching "Indian Matchmaker" on Netflix and enjoyed it so much. This book felt like an extension of that show. A generational story of three women and the effects of arranged marriage and love marriage. Great debut

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashwini

    I read this book after I read Joy Luck Club (a Chinese immigrant experience) expecting similar rich stories from an Indian immigrant. Kind of disappointed because of those expectations. But also with the depth of the stories and characters. Each chapter felt like it was trying to build up suspense only to fall flat in the next chapter, like eh this was all that hype for. I couldn't relate to the grandmother's voice, nor Simrans. Whenever Nandini came into the picture though, I wanted to read more I read this book after I read Joy Luck Club (a Chinese immigrant experience) expecting similar rich stories from an Indian immigrant. Kind of disappointed because of those expectations. But also with the depth of the stories and characters. Each chapter felt like it was trying to build up suspense only to fall flat in the next chapter, like eh this was all that hype for. I couldn't relate to the grandmother's voice, nor Simrans. Whenever Nandini came into the picture though, I wanted to read more. Quick easy read. Read the Joy Luck Club again instead.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    I listened to the audiobook which was well narrated by Soneela Nankani. In the midst of some heavier Nonfiction November reads, I was in need for a lighter, dare I say fluffier? read. This one fit the bill. It's the story of three generations of Indian women and how they navigate the world. The story starts in India, but most of the action takes place Stateside. I liked it. I liked the women, and I appreciated the themes explored. There was a tad too much tell and not enough show, and there were I listened to the audiobook which was well narrated by Soneela Nankani. In the midst of some heavier Nonfiction November reads, I was in need for a lighter, dare I say fluffier? read. This one fit the bill. It's the story of three generations of Indian women and how they navigate the world. The story starts in India, but most of the action takes place Stateside. I liked it. I liked the women, and I appreciated the themes explored. There was a tad too much tell and not enough show, and there were things that were simply unbelievable - the grandma plot points in particular. There are important things that the author explores, like issues surrounding the education of girls in India, but it felt educational and lifetime-y, as opposed to a deep dive. I felt like I was kept at a remove from the action, and while I wished these women well, I didn't particularly care about the outcome of the tale. I enjoyed this story, but it doesn't really add anything new to the existing diaspora work, especially for this Desi immigrant reader. It's well done for a debut, and I'd read more work by the author.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon May

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing, and Saumya Dave for the opportunity to read this wonderful debut novel - 5 stars! Three generations of Indian women, struggling to fit into family and societal expectations and still maintain some sense of their own wants and needs. We meet Simran, studying to be a psychologist and engaged to her childhood sweetheart but suddenly not sure if either path is right for her. Simran's mother, Nandini, working as a physician after putting her husband's care Many thanks to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing, and Saumya Dave for the opportunity to read this wonderful debut novel - 5 stars! Three generations of Indian women, struggling to fit into family and societal expectations and still maintain some sense of their own wants and needs. We meet Simran, studying to be a psychologist and engaged to her childhood sweetheart but suddenly not sure if either path is right for her. Simran's mother, Nandini, working as a physician after putting her husband's career path, his family and their children first and not feeling satisfied with her life either. Nandini's mother, Mimi, still living in India and trying to make a difference in young girls' lives as well as support her daughter and granddaughter. This would be an absolutely perfect book club selection - there is so much to discuss in this well-written book. The Indian culture of arranged marriages, familial expectations, women's and girl's roles and even the wedding planning were fascinating to learn more about. But there are issues here affecting every woman today - the feeling of not being able to live up to having it all, putting everything on hold for families, discrimination in the workplace, family secrets and expectations. Highly recommended!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lian Dolan

    This book was the perfect anecdote to stay at home anxiety-- a rich, warm thoughtful tapestry of three generations of Indian women in one family. Well-paced, the author is able to take a look back at each woman's lives while keeping the story bubbling along in a contemporary fashion. The subject of marriage-- both arranged and free choice, good and bad, for love and for money-- is the story engine here. Fascinating to me. But the payoff is the relationships between the women. This is a 2020 Sate This book was the perfect anecdote to stay at home anxiety-- a rich, warm thoughtful tapestry of three generations of Indian women in one family. Well-paced, the author is able to take a look back at each woman's lives while keeping the story bubbling along in a contemporary fashion. The subject of marriage-- both arranged and free choice, good and bad, for love and for money-- is the story engine here. Fascinating to me. But the payoff is the relationships between the women. This is a 2020 Satellite Sisters Best Beach Bag Books pick.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tova

    This book takes relatable content (though in the most unexpected way for me) to a new level. Also: NEIL DESAI...that's it that the review. RTC This book takes relatable content (though in the most unexpected way for me) to a new level. Also: NEIL DESAI...that's it that the review. RTC

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    E-galley courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I loved this story about three generations of women living a modern life with cultural expectations and pressures. From the grandmother in India to her daughter Nandini, a family physician in America, to Nandini’s daughter Simran, ready to finish school and marry the love of her life – all three are on the brink of change. Saumya Dave had me at page one – completely invested in her characters and the challenges they faced E-galley courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I loved this story about three generations of women living a modern life with cultural expectations and pressures. From the grandmother in India to her daughter Nandini, a family physician in America, to Nandini’s daughter Simran, ready to finish school and marry the love of her life – all three are on the brink of change. Saumya Dave had me at page one – completely invested in her characters and the challenges they faced with admirable courage. I was inspired and can’t wait to read more from this talented author. Well-Behaved Indian Women would make a fabulous film.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    The last sentence in the Acknowledgments summed up my experience of reading this perfectly: “To anyone who had ever felt different, struggled to find a story that represents them, or been told to put their book down already, I hope this book can provide some solace.” I saw a lot of myself in Simran’s personal experiences as well as in her relationships with her family. Throughout the book, there were insights into different character’s thoughts and feelings that felt like someone was explaining s The last sentence in the Acknowledgments summed up my experience of reading this perfectly: “To anyone who had ever felt different, struggled to find a story that represents them, or been told to put their book down already, I hope this book can provide some solace.” I saw a lot of myself in Simran’s personal experiences as well as in her relationships with her family. Throughout the book, there were insights into different character’s thoughts and feelings that felt like someone was explaining something about my own life that I couldn’t put words to. It was refreshing and comforting to read something with such depth that also represented my culture in its entirety.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I loved all the different point of views. Great book! ❤📚

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    3.5 stars rounded up. I liked reading about the three generations of Indian/Indian-American women and their coming into their own. I did get a bit tired of the repeated description of how Indian-American parents compete in terms of their children's accomplishments and what that does to their children, especially in terms of snide remarks and back-handed compliments. But I did appreciate when someone finally stood up to it [no spoiler here, you can see it coming from a mile away]. And I appreciat 3.5 stars rounded up. I liked reading about the three generations of Indian/Indian-American women and their coming into their own. I did get a bit tired of the repeated description of how Indian-American parents compete in terms of their children's accomplishments and what that does to their children, especially in terms of snide remarks and back-handed compliments. But I did appreciate when someone finally stood up to it [no spoiler here, you can see it coming from a mile away]. And I appreciated how it ended, not really tying everything up in neat bows and ribbons.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jas

    This was a lovely read. Usually when I don’t like the main characters I struggle to finish a book and it drags. But in this case, even though Simran annoyed me, a lot, I still enjoyed the story. I love that it is centered around women from different generations. It was done really well but that split perspective, and not caring much for Simran, left me wanting more of Nandini’s story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nandita Damaraju

    Lovely weekend read and very very relatable!

  26. 5 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams. Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist but her engagement to her high school sweetheart. Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children's sake. It isn’t until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she's spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she’s let herself slip away. Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she'll never be able to fix­—or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden. These are some interesting women, to say the least. They were easy to identify with as mothers and daughters alike no matter what the ethnicity These women are fascinating and well-rounded and the story was a delight to read. - we women all have secrets, carry burdens and are all daughters to someone. The is a perfect book or book clubs to dissect as pretty much any woman could identify with the characters in the book and what they go through. I think it will be the September book club pick that I am hosting - I am already thinking of what Indian food I can serve when and if we can gather as a group again as this #COVID19 stuff is REAL. (our book club this month was a group Skype!) Side note: The first thing I thought when I read the title was about how horrible it is to be a woman in India as one can get gang-raped (and then shamed and cast-aside after as they are no longer "pure") for the simple reason that she was on the bus home from the market!) I am sure that will be part of our block club chat. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I knew this book would be special for me as soon as I read the title. As an Indian- American diversity and representation are so important to me. So I was really happy to see this as soon as I walked into Barnes & Noble and picked up right away! It did not disappoint. What is it about? Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begi I knew this book would be special for me as soon as I read the title. As an Indian- American diversity and representation are so important to me. So I was really happy to see this as soon as I walked into Barnes & Noble and picked up right away! It did not disappoint. What is it about? Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist but her engagement to her high school sweetheart. Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children's sake. It isn't until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she's spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she's let herself slip away. Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she'll never be able to fix or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her secret burden. My thoughts? I am not a tabber ( if you know you know ) but I have so many tabs in this book. There are sections that I have tabbed cause I want to re-read them and read them to every girl amongst my family and friends. That's how impactful this book was for me. As I mentioned earlier I may look at this book differently than others- being a woman, person of color and from a family of Indian origin there are a lot of things I have had to deal with through the years, and that's what is so beautifully depicted in this book. We as women are held to so many standards and there is so much that is expected from us- individually, as a daughter, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter in law, as a sister in law and the list is countless and believe it or not Saumya has been able to capture situations from each one of those relationships between Simran, Nandini, and Mimi. These women are navigating the world as best as they can. It also showcased that sometimes you don't have everything figured out by the time your in your 20's and even if you do you can change your mind and want to take on a different path. If you are an Indian American and even if your not- you need to read this book. I am sure it will resonate with you!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Swetha Malineni

    2.5. I really really wanted to love this since it’s premise seemed to speak to an immigrant experience I felt for so long was only discussed verbally (and even less so cross-generationally) among Indian-Americans woman. And while I really enjoyed some parts and appreciate finally seeing Indian authors being supported enough to share these stories, other aspects of the writing really felt subpar and lacked depth. 1. So many different things happened in this book. Some of it was to showcase strugg 2.5. I really really wanted to love this since it’s premise seemed to speak to an immigrant experience I felt for so long was only discussed verbally (and even less so cross-generationally) among Indian-Americans woman. And while I really enjoyed some parts and appreciate finally seeing Indian authors being supported enough to share these stories, other aspects of the writing really felt subpar and lacked depth. 1. So many different things happened in this book. Some of it was to showcase struggle and growth, but a lot was also drama meant to keep us entertained and reading. I wish the author instead cut down on the number of topics and gave us more on each one. For example, there were references to mental health but they were discussed almost as a background problem in passing when I felt the author could have dived deeper there. Instead there are at least 5 different themes attempting to be dealt with in one book; marriage, family dynamics, career aspirations, immigrant confusion, cancer, relationship difficulty, and more. Sure you could argue all of those things were related, but nonetheless when you try to do too much, you fail to do each justice. Which ties to my second point. 2. This book is wayyyy to long in general. There is so much unnecessary fluff that doesn’t even add to the themes mentioned before or in general story/ character development. I literally was skimming and skipping over entire paragraphs as I got better at noticing when the fluff was going to happen. It could have been half the size which would have made it more powerful. 3. I really didn’t like all the brand references when giving context? It made the writing feel very fake and almost cheap, as if proving the characters were “real Americans” or “real Indians” can only be done in that manner. There are ways to give context indicating socioeconomic stature, location, or background without listing every popular store twenty year olds frequent these days, but that effort wasn’t taken. Plus it kept seeming ironic to me considering a theme the author highlighted was not letting the superficial image of you or who people expect you to be influence your actions. 4. Lastly, I just wish more was tied to the grandma or from her perspective. I came in thinking that generational struggle was what this would focus around but it felt like that was only really seen with the mom and daughter, overall making it seem like an after-thought to better help sell this book. I’d rather the author have a chapter given to each character, including the dad, brother, mother-in-law, etc. to really understand their perspective, that could have been really interesting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandy S

    Usually a wedding signifies a happy ending to a story. In this one, a wedding is how the story begins. Quoting from the Acknowledgement: "To anyone who has ever felt different, struggled to find a story that represents them, I hope this book can provide some solace. " And it's true to its word. Some very beautiful lines from this book which really resonated with me. One might label them as stereotypical and claim that I have observation bias. But if a book has been successful at connecting with th Usually a wedding signifies a happy ending to a story. In this one, a wedding is how the story begins. Quoting from the Acknowledgement: "To anyone who has ever felt different, struggled to find a story that represents them, I hope this book can provide some solace. " And it's true to its word. Some very beautiful lines from this book which really resonated with me. One might label them as stereotypical and claim that I have observation bias. But if a book has been successful at connecting with the reader on such a deep level, and picking apart the every day unresolved emotions that many Indian girls go through while facing the world head on, it deserves every bit of love, and if there was a way to rate book more than the maximum, I definitely would. "Indian women, especially the ones in their family, take pride in suffering quietly." "I let him think he's the boss even though I'm really the boss." "As much as she thinks of herself as a woman who speaks up, she knows that at the end of the day, she gives into guilt, into what's expected of her." "After all the sacrifices we made in coming to this country, the only thing we ask for is you don't disappoint us" "Men want one thing for their wives and another for their daughters." "A stubborn Indian boy was a leader. A stubborn Indian girl was a nuisance." "Maybe her relationships with her mother and her daughter were hinged on letting go in order to become whole, a delicate dance between separating and joining, losing and finding." "There's a thin line between a life to be proud of and a life that destroys you." I also like how this story is not a mere rant about how Indian parents fail to understand their children and vice versa. The author goes to the root of every misunderstanding that crops up and uses her character development to subtly convey ways to communicate to deescalate a misunderstanding. The ending is not something cliche like Simran got together with Neil or Simran ran away from home, never turned back and had a great life ever after or Kunal changed and Simran and Kunal had a great wedding and lived happily ever after. It is very real, while also filled with optimism. The concluding theme is acceptance.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rashel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *** thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the ARC, all opinions are my own *** I was super excited to have received this ARC due to all the positive reviews I had seen on Goodreads, and I am sorry to break all of them up with this negative review but I truly hope the finished copy has some serious edits made. Well- Behaved Indian Women is the story of a woman in her mid- twenties named Simran and her mother Nandini. Nandini was born in India and her and Simran cannot seem to agree on anyt *** thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the ARC, all opinions are my own *** I was super excited to have received this ARC due to all the positive reviews I had seen on Goodreads, and I am sorry to break all of them up with this negative review but I truly hope the finished copy has some serious edits made. Well- Behaved Indian Women is the story of a woman in her mid- twenties named Simran and her mother Nandini. Nandini was born in India and her and Simran cannot seem to agree on anything. As the child of immigrants, I was super excited for an inter-generational story centered around a millennial, first generation American. Unfortunately, both Simran and her mother are extremely immature, unlikeable characters. They are capricious and often rude, and there is little to no character growth throughout the book. Simran also lacks critical self awareness and romps around New York City as her parents pay for her one bedroom apartment and living expenses. All of this is brought up without any discussion. The conflict of the story goes on FOREVER and circles around the same issues, and I am honestly not really sure if there was a true resolution. Also, there were several problematic instances in the book; including, referring to a trip to "Africa" as if it is one country, mild fatphobia, and several very demeaning descriptions of homeless people. Additionally, because I don't think this should be a plot twist, Simran cheats on her fiance and there is no remorse for the situation.

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