This is my book review of “Girls Burn Brighter” by Shobha Rao.
“Girls Burn Brighter” was said to be the best book of the year by the Washington Post, NPR, Shelf Awareness, Paste, LitHub, Real Simple, and the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for best fiction.
It was also longlisted for the 2018 Center for the Fiction First Novel prize.
This is the story of the bond between two girls who are torn apart, and their journey across the world to try to find one another again.
Poornima and Savitha were both born into poverty in India and neither had seen much kindness in their lives. Poornima was married off to a man she didn’t know or love and Savitha was savagely raped.
Finally Poornima grows weary of her abusive new family and runs away to try and find her friend Savitha. Unbeknownst to her, Savitha was sent to Seattle to become a sex worker.
Both women basically have no say in what happens to them. They are ruled by a society where men are worth more than women, and women are thought to be there just to do their bidding.
It is a sexist society where women have no worth and make no decisions of their own.
Both women have been used and abused, but their light never quite goes out. Against all odds, this light is the beacon that finally brings them back together again.
About The Author:
Shobha Rao moved to the United States from India at the age of seven. She is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, and her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015.
She is the author of the short story collection, AN UNRESTORED WOMAN, and the novel, GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER. She lives in San Francisco.