“And just to set the record straight, a bad relationship is not some unprecedented accident in the history of mankind. It’s up to us how long we choose to bear the pain of it. Laughter never abandons us. We abandon it by the big and small choices we make each day.”
After suffering public humiliation at the hands of her husband on what would have otherwise been a memorable evening, Tara Grewal, a homemaker and mother of two, finds herself thrust onto a crossroads. She cannot readily go back to the life she once knew, nor can she move forward without a career or life skills to sustain her. As she transitions from questioning her choices to surrendering to the flow of life, an unfamiliar journey leads her to her grandmother’s village in Punjab.
Amid the simple joys of rural life, and heart-wrenching struggles of daily survival, Tara unknowingly kindles a spark of hope. A hope that eventually lights her own fire. As she casts off the reins of the predictable and embraces change, Tara unravels her fears and motivations, reaffirming her belief in what she knew to be true—about people, about life, about relationships, and most importantly, about love. In her challenges, she finds her strength. In her escape, she finds her home.
I received this paperback in my HT Brunch Hamper for completing the 2021 #BrunchBookChallenge and had been holding onto it because I loved the gorgeous cover from the moment I set my eyes on it.
Trapped in an abusive marriage, when Tara finally takes the decision to free herself, she finds herself surrounded by unwavering supporters but bereft of a purpose. She expects a visit to her ancestral village would give her time to think in solitude and plan her next steps. As she begins to understand how far the dreams of a young village girl can travel, she decides to help give it wings.
Bhullar writes a poignant story that explores the complexity of relationships, and the burden of societal norms that aim to define women. Tara’s story shows there are always more than two directions to make a decision. One doesn’t necessarily need to go forward or back. Even when either of those directions seem impossible to take, a little exploring might open up a new path that leads you to magnificent things.
While Tara’s story is inspiring and offers strength to the reader, the narrative is verbose with a tendency to border on preachy. I understand that sometimes the message needs to be conveyed with a direct approach to leave an impact but it drew me away from the essence of the book.
I enjoyed the insightful observations on human relationships shared by the people around Tara. Having viewed the world differently, one finds their perception of life is less complicated than what we make it today. Her connection with characters such as Uncle Ashok, or Beeja pushes her to slow her pace and break down her quest into simpler tasks.
Deeply relatable, this story brings sensitivity and optimism in understanding a woman’s life and her purpose, and acknowledges that it is tied to nothing else but her individuality.
When the Wildflowers Bloom by Rupa Bhullar. Published in March 2021 by Rupa Publications.
Book 45 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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