So I just finished reading this book, and it has become a new favourite in no time. Seriously, this book was amazing.
This book follows Shashi and Tara, a mother and a daughter in India. Shashi is dealing with the loss of her husband, Robi. A graduate in philosophy who ended up teaching at a juvenile home, Shashi had always led a relatively privileged life, but she had also faced many of the constraints Indian women of her generation faced. Tara is a student of Sanskrit, is dealing with the end of her relationship with a much older man, a famous larger than life figure. Meanwhile in the backdrop there is this religious organization which seeks to control the lives of women. This is a very feminist book, but it is not preachy about it. Rather, it incorporates feminist themes into a great story. Shashi and Tara are both such amazing, well fleshed-out characters, and everything that happens to them feel very real. There are various literary references, mostly from ancient Sanskrit texts-which was really interesting. I really enjoy books that reference really old texts-there is a reason why The Secret History is one of my all time favourite books! Anyway, in The Illuminated I found a brand new fave and I would definitely recommend it.