Book Reviews

The Ladies Compartment | Parminder Kaur Sharma

  • Author: Parminder Kaur Sharma
  • Genre: Short stories
  • Language: English
  • Print length: 144 pages

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What if you find that a train’s compartment can speak to you? What if you can hear out the story of your fellow beings? How would it feel to be privy to the struggles of their lives? The Ladies Compartment by Parminder Kaur Sharma is a doting collection of five short stories that revolve around women. While their individual stories stand on different platforms, they converge to an underlying theme that displays the strength of the protagonists.

Our key protagonist is on her train journey when she hears an alien voice, that of her compartment’s. Together the two set on a ride to go through the lives of five female passengers in the compartment. The five women – Vaidehi, Tarini, Bhavya, Ramaa and Bhaumi – exhibit an unrelenting desire to give up on hope. They are gentle, caring, but fierce and independent. They know how to take their stand and fight against despair. Even if they are lost, by the end of their stories, they discover their true selves.

With an unusual plotline that brings in the conversation between an inanimate object and a living being, this book brings forth stories of hope. These stories are coming from ordinary humans, like you and me, and strike a chord with us because of their relatability. What shines through all of them is love, the beauty of their inner self, and the courage to fight the odds. Their stories are heart-warming and inspiring, all at once. The author ensured that this collection doesn’t come off as a grand show on feminism. Rather, it speaks for countless women on the planet who sometimes forget to cheer for themselves.

Well-written prose that hits home complements the lovely stories. None of them stretches far too much. Certainly recommend it to beginners, middle-level readers, and short stories lovers.

Purchase your copy here

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