'When the light shifts, you see the world differently.'
A superbly nuanced work of fiction, Anindita Ghose's first novel The Illuminated revolves around two women: Shashi and Tara. After the sudden death of her celebrated husband, Shashi is alarmed to realize that overnight, she has lost her life's moorings. Meanwhile, their fiercely independent daughter Tara, a Sanskrit scholar, has been drawn into a passionate involvement with an older man, which threatens to consume her in ways she did not imagine possible.
Amidst a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in India that is determined to put women in their place, Shashi and Tara attempt to look at themselves, and at each other, in a new light. But is it possible to emerge from an eclipse unscathed?
An astonishing feat of the imagination, The Illuminated is as sophisticated in the quality of its prose as it is provocative in its thematic focus on questions of identity. A remarkable novel of ideas, it marks the arrival of a tremendous new literary talent.‰Û÷A novel of such self-assurance, one can scarcely believe it is the author‰۪s first. Its style is always confident and frequently studded with delightful felicities. Ghose brings to life dozens of minutely observed characters within a richly described social and political milieu even as she focuses on the journey from loss to self-discovery and fulfilment that her two protagonists make.‰۪ - SHANTA GOKHALE
‰Û÷An incisive portrayal of the abuse and exploitation that thrives as duty, perhaps even attraction, in relationships.‰۪ - SHUBHANGI SWARUP
‰Û÷How does Anindita Ghose know so much? Her sentences are like X-rays: nothing is hidden or can be hidden. Sad and funny and wise, The Illuminated is one of those books that will make you hug your loved ones tight.‰۪ - AKHIL SHARMA
'Lyrical throughout yet so deceptively easygoing, The Illuminated is an extraordinary novel that catches your breath on the first page and simply won't let you put it down.‰۪ - ANDRÌä ACIMAN