Bookish Witch

Bahir: Surviving the World Outside by Monisha K Gumber

Book Blurb:

A tale of utter desperation and fierce hope. And a fight for honour.  Meet Sawera. A beautiful and Sensual woman. Born in Pakistan, raised in the Middle East and abused wherever she goes. Struggling to find acceptance, which eludes her over and over again, she ends up being an outcast. Who belongs nowhere and to no-one. Used and manipulated by the men she loved, from the depths of her soul she claims her self-respect, along with the faith to overcome her pitiful circumstances. Where does she find her strength? What is the breaking point? How does she get over the demons of her past? Follow the story of Sawera, a child born of midnight into the dawn of new hope. Uncover the secrets and conspiracies that make her the woman she is. Read her story, a story of survival.

Genre: Fiction/Drama

Format: Kindle/Paperback

My Ratings: 4.3/5

“Nothing can beat a new hairstyle for lifting your spirits”. These lines on the opening pages of the book were enough for me to gauge this book is going to be good read! The book talks about the life story of Sawera, a Pakistani woman, who overcomes umpteen physical as well as mental challenges but refuses to back down. A story of grit and resilience, indeed!

What I liked about the book:
–> The metaphoric title of the book and the lead character
(‘Bahir’ means abroad or outside and the lead character had to literally as well as figuratively go beyond her own boundaries and break free in every turn of her life; and her name ‘Sawera’ meaning dawn, which does arrive in her life after a long and dark night of troubles and challenges throughout her life)
–> Gets you hooked from the beginning
–> The matter-of-fact tone which makes it all the more empathizing
–> Sawera (the lead character) knows her limitations and flaws
–> Teaches the readers to forgive and let go of situations not in our control
–> SPOILER ALERT: The unpredictable end. I genuinely thought Sawera’s Ammi had left her some inheritance.
–> It makes the reader want to visit and explore Bahrain
–> The glossary of Urdu words at the the end
–> SPOILER ALERT: Adnan’s character who turns out to be true ‘farishta’ for Sawera

What I did not like about the book:
–> A little detailing about the countries and places Sawera lives in would have added more charm I think
–> It had a very ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘Not Without My Daughter’ kind of vibes which I believe led to my expectations being a little more, because this one paled a little in comparison to those two (which are two of all time favorite titles)

Quotable quotes from the book:
–> “A pedicure and eyebrows usually does the trick. But nothing can beat a new hairstyle for lifting your spirits”
—> “Who would believe a prostitute who claimed to have been raped”
—>”No matter how much weight you lose, the person you are will never change”
—> “The biggest problem of womankind is having nothing to wear”
—> “Whoever said that money couldn’t buy happiness, was simply….well…lying”
—>”After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives”

Buying details:

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