“The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma” by Ratika Kapur (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015)

The intimacy of Ratika Kapur's writing drew me into a spellbinding conversation with the protagonist, Mrs. Sharma.  She is perhaps typical of a modern Indian woman, educated, but not too well because her family ran out of money.  She is married with a 15-year-old son, but her husband, a physiotherapist, works in an Arab country so they can save money to purchase their flat.  Her son, Bobby, is not in sync with his parent’s goals for him and listless in that undirected adolescent manner.  What’s a respectable woman to do?

Mrs. Sharma has an affair.  Written in an intimate first person voice, the book reads like a good friend sharing something, than a bit more and yet a bit more.  She meets a nice man.  They have ice cream.  They visit the mall.  They visit his flat when his mother is out.  Oh, by the way, we slept together three times.  Kapur’s descriptions of Mrs. Sharma’s physical longing for her absent husband is tender and beautiful.  

Is this the essence of the East Indian woman today?  I can’t say because I only visit the culture. But it is a well written book.  Short.  Some reviewers did not care for the ending.  I felt it was unimportant to the overall beauty of the writing and the story.