The Magnolia Story

This eBook includes the full text of the book plus

You are here: Home - Books - What the Body Remembers


What the Body Remembers

What the Body Remembers By Shauna Singh Baldwin What the Body Remembers Out of the rich culture of India and the brutal drama of the Partition comes this lush and eloquent debut novel about two women married to the same man Roop is a young girl whose mother has died

  • Title: What the Body Remembers
  • Author: Shauna Singh Baldwin
  • ISBN: 9780385496056
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Paperback
  • What the Body Remembers By Shauna Singh Baldwin Out of the rich culture of India and the brutal drama of the 1947 Partition comes this lush and eloquent debut novel about two women married to the same man.Roop is a young girl whose mother has died and whose father is deep in debt So she is elated to learn she is to become the second wife of a wealthy Sikh landowner in a union beneficial to both For Sardaji s first wifOut of the rich culture of India and the brutal drama of the 1947 Partition comes this lush and eloquent debut novel about two women married to the same man.Roop is a young girl whose mother has died and whose father is deep in debt So she is elated to learn she is to become the second wife of a wealthy Sikh landowner in a union beneficial to both For Sardaji s first wife, Satya, has failed to bear him children Roop believes that she and Satya, still very much in residence, will be friends But the relationship between the older and younger woman is far complex And, as India lurches toward independence, Sardarji struggles to find his place amidst the drastic changes.Meticulously researched and beautifully written, What the Body Remembers is at once poetic, political, feminist, and sensual.
    What the Body Remembers By Shauna Singh Baldwin

    • ↠ What the Body Remembers ↠ Shauna Singh Baldwin
      345 Shauna Singh Baldwin

    One thought on “What the Body Remembers

    1. Sujata Massey on said:

      Wow This may be the best Indian historical novel I ve read to date For about a week and a half, I was utterly swept up in the world of Roop and Satya, the two wives of Sardarji Singh, a wealthy Sikh landowner who also works as an engineer for the British Indian government in 1940s Punjab Through the lives of these women, the story of the desperate struggle of Sikhs to remain in their homeland of Punjab, is beautifully illustrated They face sexism from their fathers and husbands, always encourage [...]

    2. Lori Bamber on said:

      The reader writer connection wasn t successful for me in the early third of this book there were too many times I found myself thinking about the writing style rather than the story Part of the reason for that was a number of what one of my favourite creative writing teachers called the editorial lump where the writer steps out of the story and catches us up on world events, philosophy anything but the story Towards the end, I was totally over that, as I realized how difficult it was to talk abo [...]

    3. Angela on said:

      I ve just put the book down and will need some time to process everything But as you can see, I ve given it 5 stars and strong recommendations to my friends to read this beautiful elegy to undivided Punjab.This is a book that takes time to sink in The horrors of the mass migration are in these pages, the riots, rape, and village burning It s very hard to read but Shauna Singh Baldwin treats the difficult material with incredible tenderness and empathy In fact, you d think that seeing all the des [...]

    4. Rowena on said:

      I read this book with my bookclub it was chosen because three of the members are Canadian born Sikh and wanted to learn about their history I ve read many books set in India over the years but this is the first book I ve read by a Sikh author Like many other books that discuss Indian culture, this goes into a lot of detail about British colonialism in the country, as well as the many religious beliefs and languages The story itself was quite sad As a woman, I couldn t help but empathize with th [...]

    5. Missy J on said:

      Finally, I finished reading this For my book club s India journey, we read this for Northern India This novel is set in Punjab and focuses on a Sikh family I ve never encountered such a setting before so that was interesting But boy was this book just as wordy as our Southern India book choice, The Forgotten Daughter What the Body Remembers is set right before the Partition of British India We meet Roop, a teenage girl from a Punjab Sikh family, who is quite naive and materialistic and whose mot [...]

    6. Smitha on said:

      Roop, one of Bachan Singh s two daughters, grows up without her mother Her father, a respected however not too well off a person in the village, does his best in bringing up his daughters and son.Roop grows up believing that she is destined to a better life When Bachan Singh gets a proposal from one of the wealthiest men in the village for his daughter, he is delighted, only to be disappointed when he realizes that it is not for one of the wealthy man s sons but for an already married relative o [...]

    7. Janice on said:

      I originally started this book in Feb 2013 and didn t get far before I set it aside to possibly attempt another time It was a challenge that was the deciding factor in pulling it back off the shelf and wiping the dust off the cover I m glad I did.I enjoyed this intricate tale of three people embroiled in the dynamics of a marriage with two wives amidst the backdrop of a time when having a second wife was beginning to be socially frowned upon That alone could have made an interesting story, but a [...]

    8. Jaspreet on said:

      What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin is one of my favorite books of all time I wish I had read this book sooner It took me almost eight weeks to finish the book I read in intervals because I had to take detours to complete other reading commitments The book centers around three main characters Roop, who at the age of sixteen, becomes a second wife to a rich landowner Satya the landowner s first wife who is childless and struggles to maintain her status when a new woman comes into her [...]

    9. Catherine Siemann on said:

      The story of Sardarji, an English educated Sikh engineer in India during the last days of British rule, but centrally of his two wives Satya is Sardaji s contemporary, strong willed and well suited to him, but unable to have children Roop, his much younger second wife, is an independent child, when we first meet her, but soon gives way to societal expectations that she be good good, sweet sweet The tensions between the three, and the restricted roles placed on Satya and Roop, are at the center [...]

    10. Book Concierge on said:

      5 and a This is an extraordinary book The novel deals with the struggles to form Pakistan, when Muslims fought Sikhs and Hindus, and with the traditional culture vs the modern expectations It is also a tale of woman and her place in the world Roop is just 16 when she becomes the second wife of Sandaji needed because 1st wife Satya is still barren after 20 years How Roop grows and matures, how Satya descends to madness with jealousy and hatred are themes that mirror the division of India and Paki [...]

    11. Angel on said:

      If the circle that is your body falls on a ladder inscribed on the game board of time, you climb.If it lands on a snake,you slip slide back.Resume your journey again.And if you do not learn what you were meant to learn from your past lives,you are condemned to repeat them.This is Karma.This is what got me hooked I loved this bookyou travel with Roop as if your really their and at times I swear I could taste and smell what I was reading,and would have to come to relisation I was at home sitting i [...]

    12. Alexa Haden on said:

      I loved this book If you don t know much about the partition of India and Pakistan thus is a great way to find out about it, as well as some bits of Indian culture wrapped up in a story I couldn t put down

    13. Victoria on said:

      Shauna Singh Baldwin brings to life India before and during WWII, and most especially after the war has ended, during decolonization and the making of divided India This moving story centers around two women, Satya and Roop, wives to the same man, beautiful characters who made me feel all glowy and proud to be a woman The story has left me somewhat enlightened on the differences and similarities among Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims And it sent me rushing through my highschool and university history t [...]

    14. Mary on said:

      I was drawn to this book because I like historical novels that are set in countries prior to during their independence I think that I understand about the historical vicissitudes if I am having it filtered through characters in a novel who can and should express opinions on them I was not disappointed with What the Body Remembers for its approach on British India and the independence as well as the creation of Pakistan , and was happy to read the point of view from the Sihks, which is often dis [...]

    15. Kathleen Schmitt on said:

      WHAT THE BODY REMEMBERSShauna Singh BaldwinAn engrossing and fascinating story of the two Sikh wives of a wealthy Sikh man at the time of the Partition of India and Pakistan The majority of the story unfolds the realities of the lives of Sikh women in that era in minute detail Readers of other faiths and perspectives learn a great deal about Sikh life and culture, and how once Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims lived as neighbours until the British fanned the fires of dissent as a ploy to divide and conq [...]

    16. Naheed Hassan on said:

      I recently re read What The Body Remembers and was surprised at how much had stayed with me from my first reading First of all is the absolutely gorgeous cover one of my favourites which makes you want to display the book as much as read it And then there are the characters Sardarji, progressive and modern, educated in England and impressed with everything British And yet, when it comes to the critical matter of children, an especially a son to carry on his name, he brings home a second wife to [...]

    17. Luz Balthasaar on said:

      I expected to finish Wolf Totem this month, but my boss unexpectedly recommended this book I m glad I followed her suggestion The book tells a story which resonates deeply with my own views being a middle ground sort of person in a world that forces people to take sides is tough, especially if you were a woman, and were not afraid to speak out.Ms Baldwin s writing is beautiful sometimes I paused and re read a paragraph or a sentence just to admire how she describes things and tells her story Sen [...]

    18. Pam Rivera on said:

      After reading The Tiger s Claw by the same author, I was quite excited when my book club chose this book as a selection for this year I really struggled with this book, however The writing was beautiful with great imagery and insightful comments I enjoyed the central story of Roop, Satya, and Sardarji I found the history and culture interesting The book provided us with a fantastic discussion I just got bogged down in the Punjabi words that I couldn t always decipher the meaning of, the multiple [...]

    19. Ming on said:

      A lush, beautiful read Her writing is steady, graceful and confident The story is compelling while being subtle as it grasps the reader s attention and imagination I found the depiction of the Partition of India from a Sikh perspective refreshing and engaging And it is certainly one of the best perhaps of 3 5 such stories on this historic and horrifying event I am convinced that Partition continues to have an impact today, including on us in the U.S There are many lessons and insights, highlight [...]

    20. Kanica on said:

      So many elements are described in the book that in the end I was wondering which had the deepest impact on me Although the character of Roop reminded me of Scout from To kill a mockingbird , it is Satya alone who shines, best in times when Roop adapts her behavior subconsciously to her sister But the book is foremost about South Asia and the seeped patriarchy about honor izzat and how women are the sole carriers of this malaise Without adding any spoilers, I would recommend this book to every on [...]

    21. Noor on said:

      This is the third time i ve read this book over the years and it remains one of the most powerful, emotional and enduring novels i ve come across What starts as a book exploring the relationships of two women married to the same man during the early 20th century in undivided Punjab, turns into so much A commentary on the state of women in India still surprisingly the same to a large extent , the internal tussle a person faces between modernising and sticking to one s traditions, how religion pl [...]

    22. ☕Laura on said:

      I really liked this book I thought the character development was good, the writing style enjoyable, and the storyline interesting It is the story of Roop, a naive young Sikh girl who becomes the 2nd wife to Sardarji, much to the dismay of his first wife, Satya Roop quickly learns that this arrangement is not going to be the bed of roses she had expected it to be The relationship between the two wives and between Sardarji and each wife is quite complex The story is told against the backdrop of In [...]

    23. Marvin on said:

      Set in mid 20th century India before it was partitioned It was apparently trying to set up the tentions among Sikhs, Hindus, Moslems, but used so much arcane terminology assumed knowledge of cultural practices that I found it too difficult to follow.

    24. Dale on said:

      I have enjoyed reading the novels by this author in the past, but this book was SO confusing until I reached the end I know little about Partition in India This was really about the struggles of the Muslim, Sikhs and Hindus before, during and immediately following WWII As the British leave India and leave chaos in their wake the deaths and losses must have been unimaginable, but Singh Baldwin has attempted to capture the ethnicities and how they perceived this bloody end.The role of women was we [...]

    25. Annaki on said:

      Utterly depressing book I really wanted to like this book, it had been on my to read list for a long time and I had really been looking forward to it The book is well wrtitten and it was interesting to get knowledge on the historical aspect of the time period and a look into some of the cultural aspects of the prevailing cultures.However, I never managed to connect with the characters or rather, when ever I felt a beginning connection, it was snuffed out by several factors First off, as a Scand [...]

    26. Audrey on said:

      Roop was sixteen years old when her father married her off to a middle aged man who already had a wife Satya was unable to have children and it was hoped that Roop that would provide Sardarji with an heir Life is complicated for the two women since they resent and are suspicious of each other Life isn t easy for Sardarji either since he is concerned about politics As a wealthy Sikh landowner he knows that trouble will rise when the British withdraw from India and Pakistan becomes a nation This i [...]

    27. Leah on said:

      Whoa, this book is truly a masterpiece This book is up there with Rohinton Mistry s A Fine Balance with best book set in India There are a few different story lines in this book that mostly follow Sikh characters during the India Pakistan Partition in 1947 What the Body Remembers ties together broad themes of religious identity in South Asia, the role of women, feminism, marriage, coming of age, motherhood, and socio economic disparities all this amidst the dramatic and violent events of Partiti [...]

    28. Pam on said:

      So much to take in with customs and beliefs of Sikhs Punjabs Muslims This takes place in the late 1930s through to the separation and creation of Pakistan The turmoil and havoc as Muslims head to their land while Sikhs to theirs is beyond our understanding Yet I found it tough to read as every chapter contained words or expressions native to India I come away with greater understanding and realize that my own customs and beliefs are so very different.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *