The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff
A young Indian woman finds the false rumors that she killed her husband surprisingly useful—until other women in the village start asking for her help getting rid of their own husbands—in this razor-sharp debut. “Shroff captures the complexity of female friendship with acuity, wit, and a certain kind of magic irreverence. . . . The Bandit Queens is tender, unpredictable, and brimming with laugh-out-loud moments.”—Téa Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband. As in, she actually lost him—he walked out on her and she has no idea where he is. But in her remote village in India, rumor has it that Geeta killed him. And it’s a rumor that just won’t die. It turns out that being known as a “self-made” widow comes with some perks. No one messes with her, harasses her, or tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It’s even been good for business; no one dares to not buy her jewelry. Freedom must look good on Geeta, because now other women are asking for her “expertise,” making her an unwitting consultant for husband disposal. And not all of them are asking nicely. With Geeta’s dangerous reputation becoming a double-edged sword, she has to find a way to protect the life she’s built—but even the best-laid plans of would-be widows tend to go awry. What happens next sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything, not just for Geeta, but for all the women in their village. Filled with clever criminals, second chances, and wry and witty women, Parini Shroff’s The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won’t soon forget.