Girls Burn Brighter

Girls Burn Brighter

Large Print - 2018
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Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them. They are poor. They are driven. And they are girls. When Poornima was just a toddler, she was about to fall into a river. Her mother, beside herself, screamed at her father to grab her. But he hesitated: "I was standing there, and I was thinking--she's just a girl. Let her go--That's the thing with girls, isn't it. You think, Push. That's all it would take, Just one little push." After her mother's death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to take care of her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to secure for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle.--Amazon.
Publisher: Farmington Hills, Michigan :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company,, 2018.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781432850975
Characteristics: 503 pages (large print) ;,23 cm


From the critics

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Jul 08, 2020

A heart-breaking story of two young women born into poverty in India and their incredible resilience and perseverance as each navigates the harrowing circumstances of their lives.

Vero_biblio Mar 09, 2020

The story of two best friends, girls living in poverty in India, and who get separated by destiny. Absolutely *horrible* things happen to them -- the world is extremely cruel to them, and it's very hard to read. But that what makes it important to read, also. I really liked the story.

JCLBetM Oct 24, 2019

This is a hard story to read (rape, forced prostitution, violence against women). But I felt it was one that was important to hear and stand witness to how life is for women in other countries and cultures even today. And how my own country plays into that. As a piece of fiction I found it interesting, but wasn't entirely engaged. I did, however, feel immersed in the culture and the main characters' experiences.

Aug 03, 2019

DNF - lack of time to read, didn't appear to be something I'd like.

Jul 30, 2019

kate baer

Jun 30, 2019

I'd love to have been able to latch on to this, a fascinating subject. My poor old brain has problems with unfamiliar names, thus I can't keep the character in place.

Jun 19, 2019

This was a gripping read. I found it hard to put it down but hard to read in one go. I read this book over the last few days (as I couldn't spare more than a few hours per day) and I found myself thinking about the characters in the interim, wondering what lies in store next. As an Indian hailing from Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana) and now living in Seattle, I felt strongly connected to the characters and there were times when I felt disturbed and had to put the book away.

Feb 17, 2019

This debut novel by Shobha Rao spares no punches.We are told in gory detail the abuse that women (Barely more than girls) suffer at the hands of men folk.Poornima and Savitha become fast friends and it is this friendship that sustains them. Alas life's vicissitudes separates them and they suffer even more. It is the thought of their friendship that keeps them alive and each looks for the other as they suffer the indignities showered on them in the underworld or even in marriage. Almost unbelievably both of them arrive in Seattle and yet again Poornima starts looking for Savitha. Will they meet? I will not be a spoiler. Believe me it is worth a read.

Feb 14, 2019

This compelling story is one of many that deal with the horrific conditions that thousands of girls/women endure in Mid-eastern countries as well as in India (as this book describes). As always, girls suffer at the hands of the men in these countries. This is, of course, not limited
to these locations; however, it isn't as prevalent.
The friendship between these women is powerful - bonding them through miseries and obstacles that we cannot imagine.
It is a book that is a must-read - moving, electrifying and riveting.

Nov 25, 2018

I enjoyed reading Girls Burn Brighter, specially the first half. I was invested the the friendship that Rao has portrayed between Poornima and Savitha and I was rooting for them throughout the book.

The story is fast paced and never boring, even though at times the author is overindulgent in describing the surroundings and background. The writing style does a good job in utilizing the sense of sight, smell, taste and touch, specially for the parts that are based in India.

With this story Rao has touched upon almost all the social issues faced by women and girls in India and perhaps rest of the world - Poverty, Lack of Education, Female Infanticide, Eve Teasing, Rape, Marital Rape, Dowry, Acid Attacks/ Burn Attacks, Domestic Violence, and Human and Sex Trafficking. There is usually an immediate shock value associated with this theme. But the friendship between the protagonists

Where I was a little bit disappointed was-
1. The series of coincidences in the second half seemed 'movie-like' to me. It was a bit far fetched and seemed rushed unlike the first half which flowed much more naturally.
2. Lack of exploring any male characters- Mohan, or Poornima's husband, or Poornima's father. I wish the book could have delved more into their motivations and their psyche. Spoiler Alert It just seemed so unconvincing to me that Mohan agreed to help Poornima in her search. I agree that he was conflicted, but it was not enough to explain his role in helping her find Savitha.

Overall this was a very good debut novel and I would be looking out for more books from the author.

P.S. - For people who really liked this novel, I would recommend to watch a recent Bollywood movie called "Love Sonia". IMDB Description - Inspired by real life events, Love Sonia is the story of a young girl's journey to rescue her sister from the dangerous world of international sex trafficking.

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JCLBetM Oct 24, 2019

Sexual Content: rape & forced prostitution

JCLBetM Oct 24, 2019

Violence: violence against women

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Nov 10, 2019

Jazminnn thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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