My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very recently, I had heard this beautiful song Silent All These Years by Tori Amos and there are these lines that resonated with me that captured the sentiments of this book exactly.
My scream got lost in a paper cup
You think there’s a heaven where some screams have gone
I got twenty-five bucks an’ a cracker
Do you think it’s enough to get us there
It is incredible what women over the centuries endure to let things be and bear the shame and humiliation and years of abuse just coz, we are coached and conditioned to accept the status quo and move on. There could be a multitude of reasons why abused women remain to stay, it could be the welfare of the children, it could be the lack of funds and security, it could the lack of support in their own family, each of these reasons can cripple the very thought of trying to fight, to resist, to push back and say ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’.
Tara Grewal is a reflection of many of us in the society who has no identity other than a mother and a wife, but 17 years of mental belittling and abuse has taken its toll and encouraged by her loving family of mom and sisters, Tara decides to step out of her husband’s shadow. Returning to her roots in the village, Tara struggles to find direction and objective. Helped by a multitude of people around her, she regains her sense of self-worth and reinvents her role in life from a ‘nobody’ to ‘somebody’, a person by her own right.
The author Rupa Bhullar captures the upheaval wonderfully, the sense of loss and decisions that just cannot be taken on a whim, the hopeful longing that somehow everything will work out even though her husband has crossed all barriers and pushed the final nail in the coffin. The effect of the beautiful panorama and the prayer chants adds a sense of tranquillity to the story after the turmoil of sudden changes. All the characters in the story especially Dev or ‘Beeja’ who helps Tara in seeking new heights are all endearing.
However, the colloquial use of language emphasizes the local setting but would be tougher for someone not really familiar with the same even with the glossary at the end. Irrespective of the fact this is a story of women’s triumph over all adversity, I would have loved to feel more emotionally invested in Tara’s growth. Tara is helped in every decision by several people around her which is all well and good as it shows the formidable power of love and support from family and friends but fails to convey her own strength and mettle. Also, there’s a lack of anticipation in the story as everything that happens after the initial tumult feels too easy and achieved without much struggle. The author also by way of Darshi’s and Seerat’s life shows us that abuse can be in any form and any strata of the society and a helping hand can be offered to a struggling person in simple easy ways.
Uplifting 4 stars 💦💦 💦 💦
Don’t try to predict life, try to explore it instead. Even the roughest, most crooked trails can sometimes lead to magnificent places.
After suffering public humiliation at the hands of her husband on what would have otherwise been a memorable evening, Tara Grewal, a homemaker and mother of two, finds herself thrust onto a crossroads. She cannot readily go back to the life she once knew, nor can she move forward without a career or life skills to sustain her.
As she transitions from questioning her choices to surrendering to the flow of life, an unfamiliar journey leads her to her grandmother’s village in Punjab. Amid the simple joys of rural life, and heart-wrenching struggles of daily survival, Tara unknowingly kindles a spark of hope. A hope that eventually lights her own fire.
As she casts off the reins of the predictable and embraces change, Tara unravels her fears and motivations, reaffirming her belief in what she knew to be true—about people, about life, about relationships, and most importantly, about love. In her challenges, she finds her strength. In her escape, she finds her home.
Poignant, insightful, and deeply relatable, When the Wildflowers Bloom weaves together the complexities of human emotions and societal norms with beauty, sensitivity, and unfailing optimism.
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