Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Avni Doshi’s searing debut gave us plenty to talk about.
Hajar wasn’t as drawn to the writing as Curtis, but we both agreed this is a brilliant book that’s definitely worth a read.
Burnt Sugar is a 2020 Booker shortlisted novel that follows artist Antara as she faces the impossible task of caring for a mother who has brought her a lifetime of pain.
In our penultimate episode of the series, we end up giving the book the same score, despite seemingly different overriding feelings towards it.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize
In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her arranged marriage to join an ashram, took a hapless artist for a lover, rebelled against every social expectation of a good Indian woman – all with her young child in tow. Years on, she is an old woman with a fading memory, mixing up her maid’s wages and leaving the gas on all night, and her grown-up daughter is faced with the task of caring for a mother who never seemed to care for her.
This is a poisoned love story. But not between lovers – between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar gradually untangles the knot of memory and myth that bind two women together, revealing the truth that lies beneath.
Read the book, listen to the podcast, and tell us what you think.