Unlikely adventures of the shergill sisters

Balli Kaur Jawal

Book - 2019

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FICTION/Jaswal Balli
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Subjects
Published
[Place of publication not identified], WILLIAM MORROW 2019.
Language
English
ISBN
0062645145
9780062645142
Main Author
Balli Kaur Jawal (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Sita Kaur Shergill is dying of cancer. She has "had enough of this ghastly life," but before she goes, she leaves epistolary final wishes that her three British-born daughters journey together to India "on [her] behalf." Her detailed itinerary is exacting, from serving others to taking cleansing ritual baths to a spiritual mountain trek, all of which—grumble, grumble—the hardly close Shergill sisters must do together. The timing is less than ideal for London-based Rajni and Jezmeen: the former's 18-year-old son has just announced he is engaged to a woman twice his age who's pregnant with his child; Jezmeen's acting career is teetering on a bizarre scandal. Meanwhile, the youngest, Shirina, travels from Australia, where she has lived since her year-ago wedding—the trip providing a convenient opportunity to fulfill her husband and mother-in-law's demands. Of course, all sorts of drama ensues, with much tending toward the obvious. Predictability aside, Jaswal's (Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, 2017) tendency to insert cloying references to future reveals may incite eye rolling rather than inspiring engagement. Still, her many fans will be happy for a new read. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Jaswal's debut, Inheritance, won the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelist Award, while Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Here, three British-born Punjabi sisters—school principal Rajni, acting hopeful Jezmeen, and good-natured Shirnia—tamp down tensions as they travel to Amritsar's Golden Temple to conduct final rites for their recently deceased mother, as she wished. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Jaswal's witty, emotional second novel (after Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows) is a heartfelt story of three sisters agreeing to the wishes of their deceased mother. The Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—travel to India to embark on a Sikh pilgrimage and scatter their mother's ashes. The sisters have never been close, and are quite distant now. Both Rajni, a school principal, and Jezmeen, a struggling actress, live in the U.K. Shirina moved to Australia, where she lives with her husband, Sehaj, and his controlling mother. Their journey in India is filled with bickering between Rajni and Jezmeen over Jezmeen's clothing choices, while Rajni and Jezmeen express concern over Shirina and her limited participation in the trip. As the three women view the splendor of some of the Sikh temples of India, the bond of sisterhood becomes stronger. When Rajni and Jezmeen sense that Shirina is in trouble, they are able to look past their own problems to come to her aid. Jaswal reveals much about the sisters' personalities through the use of flashbacks, explaining how previous events shaped their lives. Teen and adult fans of women's fiction will find much to appreciate here. Agent: Anna Power, Johnson & Alcock. (Apr.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Making an obligatory pilgrimage to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out their mother's final rites, three estranged British-Punjabi sisters make unexpected discoveries about why their mother was forced to leave India.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Making an obligatory pilgrimage to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out their mother's final rites, three estranged British-Punjabi sisters make unexpected discoveries about why their mother was forced to leave India. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India."Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama'an Indian This Is Where I Leave You'about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters'Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina'were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she's always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother's request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina's in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives'and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago'a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India."Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.