The unlikely adventures of the Shergill sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal is the ultimate family drama. It has love, it has fights, it has secrets and it has the kind of ending that left me happy. The novel features the story of three Punjabi sisters born and brought up in London. Their unlikely adventure begins when the three have to undertake a trip to India to honor the wishes of their dead mother.
The sisters, Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina were never really close. As adults, they grew even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears that her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. But is anything ever as it seems?
Each sister is hiding something from the others and going about their routine like everything is fine. All of them are burdened with the death of their mother and are dealing with their emotions in different ways. They travel to Delhi, with its strange yet familiar landscapes. From there they go to Amritsar, with the promise of peace and absolution in the Golden Temple. It’s the height of summer and the temperature is soaring. Despite the physical discomfort, the sisters find themselves reliving their shared childhood memories.
The story is fast-paced, engaging and comic, yet addresses dark issues. The author uses humor to highlight the patriarchal assumptions the sisters fight. There is a realness to the story. The readers can relate to Jaswal’s characters.
The book will take you on a rollercoaster ride and you will feel what each character is going through. I found myself praying for the sisters. The book will definitely compel you to get up and hug your sister. Or maybe just pick up the phone to hear her voice.