HarperCollins UK
(March 2017)


Women's Fiction

Current material

Final PDF / epub

More information



Balli (Balvinder) Kaur Jaswal

Nikki is a forward-thinking and opinionated young woman who's dropped out of university and is wondering what to do with her life. When an opportunity arises to teach creative writing to some elderly women at a Sikh temple she jumps at it. She hopes to inspire the women with her progressive ideas and to maybe even publish an anthology of their work. But she's been seriously misled - almost all of the women who have signed up for her class are illiterate and will need to first learn to read and write. Despite the shaky start and limitations of what Nikki can teach they all persist with meeting and talking. Very soon the students, almost all widows who feel marginalised and invisible in their community, tell Nikki that they would like to start creating their own stories. Surprising stories about passionate love affairs and other racy fantasies!

The women are empowered by their illicit story-telling and growing friendships, but there is a serious element of danger in what they do. The lessons take place in the grounds of a temple unofficially policed by a group of conservative bullying men called the Brothers. Nikki must protect herself and her students from being discovered, while at the same time she learns more about these Brothers, the influence that they wield and other sinister goings on - not least two crimes that have been committed against local women that have never been properly investigated ...

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Christian Dittus
Fritz AG


8. March 2017, Quote
I loved this novel - it's so big-hearted and earthy and funny. Best of all, it turns many preconceptions upside down, and opens up a world that so many of us have only glimpsed. A rattlingly good story. -- Deborah Moggach, author of THE BEST EXOTIC MARI


8. March 2017, Foreign licence
Israel: Keter; Estonia: HEA LUGU; Poland: Czarna Owca; China: Beijing Land of Wisdom Books; France: Belfond


8. March 2017, Foreign licence
USA: William Morrow


8. March 2017, Foreign licence
Italy: HarperCollins


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