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The Hindi-Bindi Club


The Hindi-Bindi Club Cover

ISBN13: 9780553384529
ISBN10: 055338452x
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Reading Group Guide

1. Discuss the storytelling approach Pradhan takes. Did you find the varying first person narrative chapters effective or jarring in any way? Did you like the email and letter exchanges that are strewn throughout?

2. Though Meenal, Saroj and Uma—the three mothers that make up the Hindi-Bindi Club—all had fairly different experiences in India, they forged a very strong bond once they moved to America. Did they all embrace the American way of life in the same way? How did their pasts affect their adaptation? Think about each womans choice of lifestyle—how she lives, if she works, how she raised her children, etc.

3. Describe the dynamic between the daughters, Kiran, Preity and Rani, during the first part of the novel. In your opinion, what is the reason for the tension that seems to surround these three women?

4. Kirans parents are perhaps the most traditional characters represented in this book. Explain the Deshpandes reaction to Kirans decision to marry and ultimately divorce, and the eventual strain her lifestyle caused to their whole family. Reference the words Kirans father shares about “a disposable society.” (page 106)

5. At one point during the novel, each of the three daughters journeys home to face and deal with a disappointing and/or haunting aspect of her life. Discuss the different experiences and situations. How do they use the comfort of their mothers and one another to gain the courage to do what will ultimately make them happy?

6. What do you make of Ranis character? How has the pressure of success and consequent fear of failure in her decision to pursue art affected her? Explain the significance her trip to India with her mother has on her health, her relationship with her husband, and her overall outlook on life.

7. Throughout the novel, the author weaves in a good deal of significant Indian history. Discuss the essential role it plays in the story and specifically describe the ways in which Partition dramatically affects both Saroj and her daughter Preity, though in quite different ways.

8. Uma tells the tragic story of her mothers—and Ranis grandmothers—death. Reflect on the common Indian blessing, “May you be the mother of a hundred sons,” and relate this to Mas situation in life.

9. How does Pradhan use different illnesses or diseases to help reveal things about certain characters? Think about how in portraying the way Meenal, Rani, and Preity respectively deal with maladies, the readers understanding of the characters is changed.

10. How is Kirans semi-arranged marriage and her actual wedding ceremony a perfect blend of Eastern and Western traditions?

11. In addition to beautifully written narratives, the novel contains many different recipes. What is the significance of each recipe that follows every chapter? How does it represent the character who references it? What role does food play as a whole throughout the book?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Deborah Fochler, November 2, 2007 (view all comments by Deborah Fochler)
An unusual and heartwarming look at the relationship between a mother and daughter and an extended family. Mixed with food, holidays, disappointment, extended family and friends and most of all - love - unconditional yet complicated. I loved this book - it gave me great insight into another culture though in the end we are all the same. We love our families but cant live with them or without them.
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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Laurie Blum, May 7, 2007 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
An elegant tapestry of East and West, peppered with food and ceremony, wisdom and sensuality, this luminous novel breathes new life into timeless themes...and an excellent book review novel for women's clubs, many discussable issues. As a mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, wife & friend, I could identify with the universal struggles plus with a scheduled trip to India late this year, I loved the descriptions, language, customs & more!
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(10 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Pradhan, Monica
Bantam Books
Mothers and daughters
Intergenerational relations
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Family saga
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.27x5.29x1.00 in. .78 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Hindi-Bindi Club New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553384529 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The age-old intergenerational struggle between mothers and daughters gets a curried twist in Pradhan's debut, in which the subcontinent meets the modern West. As children, first-generation Americans Kiran Deshpande, Preity Chawla Lindstrom and Rani McGuiness Tomashot gently mocked their Indian mothers, collectively nicknamed 'The Hindi-Bindi Club' for their Old World leanings. Though the three are now successful adults, they aren't necessarily seen as such by their parents. For starters, none married Indian men. But now, Kiran's parents may get their chance to 'semi-arrange' a marriage for their divorced daughter as she considers the possibility that there may be something to the old ways. Preity, mostly happily married to business school beau Eric, carries a small torch for a long-lost love — a Muslim her parents didn't approve of — and considers seeking him out. Meanwhile, rocket scientist Rani's passion for art starts to pay off as she becomes spiritually listless. Pradhan's debut is breezy (there are enough recipes dotting the narrative to fill a cookbook), though it touches on not-so sunny issues — prejudice, breast cancer, infidelity. The prose isn't dynamite and the characters are stock, but the novel easily fulfills its ready-made requirements." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , An elegant tapestry of East and West, peppered with food and ceremony, wisdomand sensuality, this luminous novel breathes new life into timeless themes offamily and place.
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