“The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die” by Shrishenda Mukhopadhyay

Thanks to John Murray Press and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is an interesting and enigmatic little novella. It can easily be read in one sitting which was a bonus for me as I started reading it on a plane. I really enjoy South Asian fiction although I tend to mostly read female authors I thought it was time to give the blokes a chance.

The story follows two points of view, that of Somlata and Boshon, two Bengali women whose stories play out at different points in time. Also featured are their large extended family, including Pishima – the Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die.

This story is part family saga, part love story and part ghost story. It’s a quit and enigmatic little tale and written in a simple, yet compelling, style. It’s quite difficult to know what’s lost when a book has been translated, but the unique Bengali humour and cultural voice shines through in the writing.

I would have liked to have seen more of Boshon’s story and although it was a deliberate narrative choice, I didn’t really like the way her story ended so abruptly.

Overall, an enjoyable read and recommended for anyone who enjoys South Asian fiction.

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