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Finished With Oxygen Book Club's January 2022 Pick? It's Time To Discuss!
In the fictional read "The Bandit Queens," an Indian woman doesn't mind local gossip says she killed her husband — until she gets pulled into helping other women dispose of their bad husbands.
In most narratives, people considering murder are the villains. But in Parini Shroff's debut novel "The Bandit Queens" it's a lot more complex than that.
Geeta is the heroine of the book, a woman who is an outcast in her rural Indian village after her husband left her, leading people to spread rumors she murdered him. This reputation suits Geeta fine — until local women start approaching her to help her get rid of their bad husbands for good.
This fast-paced and juicy fictional read was selected as January 2022's pick in Oxygen Book Club. Once you've finished reading the book yourself, consider examining these discussion questions with your friends:
1. Had you heard of the real-life Phoolan Devi before reading the book? What did you think of her story, and the way it impacted the main characters?
2. Geeta is the narrative's main character. What did you like about her? What didn't you like? How did your feelings about her as a character impact the reading experience?
3. The book introduces us to multiple bad husbands. Did you think the women were justified in wanting them dead? Why or why not?
4. "The Bandit Queens" is set in a rural part of India. How familiar were you with this part of the world and its culture? How does it inform the women's choices?
5. If you were in Geeta's position when she was first approached to help plot a murder, what would you have done?
6. Geeta does not have children, which leads to some derision from other characters in the book. What role does motherhood play in the narrative? How does it impact Geeta's decisions?
7. Female friendship is a major theme in "The Bandit Queens." How does it sustain each woman? What relationships seemed most relatable or true to life to you?
8. What was the most shocking part of the story to you, and why? In turn, what part of the book did you find the most hopeful?
9. The final act has high stakes and a major choice. What did you think of the ending? What will you take from this book?
And if you have more thoughts let us know! Use the hashtag #oxygenbookclub to keep the discussion going on social media.