The Hindi-Bindi Club

Between mothers and daughters
lies a very special world:
Follow the relationships of two very different generations of women with everything to learn from each other...

For decades, they've gathered together, dressed in saris and sweater sets, to share recipes, arguments, and laughter. They are the Hindi-Bindi Club, a nickname given by their American daughters to the mothers who left India to start life anew. Daughters, now grown, and facing struggles of their own.

Kiran, Preity, and Rani are coming home for the holidays. Home to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and of course, to the Hindi-Bindi Club. For what holiday would be complete without their mother hens' mouthwatering food, their gossip - and their unsolicited advice? For Kiran, a successful career can't fill the void left by her estrangement from her parents. Five years and one divorce later, she's ready to mend fences... and find a new husband the old-fashioned way. Good girl Preity's marriage is nearly perfect, but lately she's haunted by the memory of her first love-and her mother's interference in that romance. Then there's Rani, the wild child with the brains of a rocket scientist - and the weight of a dark burden she's carried all her life.

Now, as East meets West across time and tradition, six women will take their first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering long-kept secrets, sharing joy and tears, and allowing the real power of the Hindi-Bindi Club to take hold.

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Critical Praise
Monica Pradhan's "The Hindi-Bindi Club" is being likened to Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club," but the similarity ends with the subject matter, i.e., Old World-New World tensions, mother-daughter relationships. Pradhan's novel has a lot to recommend it, but as a writer she's more of a craftsman than an artist. "The Hindi-Bindi Club" is the affectionate, if mocking, name bestowed by their American-born daughters on three Indian-born women whose lifelong friendship was forged when they met 40 years ago in Boston's graduate school community. The narrative voices change, with each mother and each daughter telling her story.

The daughters are adults, trying to live their own lives, still struggling with their parents' expectations and disappointments. None has married an Indian. Independent Kiran, a family doctor, has divorced her American rock musician husband and come home to visit her mother and estranged father and to tell them that, at 32, she's ready for a "semi-arranged" marriage. Preity is happily married, the mother of two, a successful consultant, yet she can't quite forget a Muslim boyfriend she had in college, and she can't forgive her parents for disapproving of him. Rani is a critically acclaimed artist, married to a man who supports her in every way. But her parents still fear she'll attempt suicide, as she tried at 15. The mothers have their own stories, very different than their daughters' and in many ways more compelling. Their lives in India, their struggles to adjust to America are inherently dramatic. The book is an interesting account of cultural change. It's more than Indian-American chick-lit, although it's that, too, with a wedding in the last chapter and lots of recipes interspersed in the narrative."

The Boston Globe

"The Hindi-Bindi Club sparkles with wit, heart, and truth. I loved the characters, and their tender connection, and how they never stop seeking ways back to each other. Monica Pradhan has written a beautiful novel about family, the strength of women, and the power of love."

—Luanne Rice

"With a voice as fresh as a morning wind, Monica Pradhan blows away the dusty stereotypes of Indian culture. The Hindi-Bindi Club is as Indian and as mannered as a gold-threaded sari, but also as young and hip and thoroughly American as rollerblades. Pradhan throws open the doors to her world and invites you to sit down and make yourself at home, eat and dance and weep. A delicious tale of the thoroughly modern Indian woman. I loved this book!"

—Barbara Samuel

"At the beginning of this debut novel, American-born Kiran Deshpande returns home as the divorced prodigal daughter of Indian parents. But her story quickly unfolds into the larger tale of her mother, Meenal, and Meenal's friends, whom Kiran and her childhood friends Preity and Rani had dubbed the Hindi-Bindi Club because of their old-fashioned Indian ways. Each chapter is narrated by a different character and explores the diverse experiences of these mothers, daughers, and wives who struggle to be Indian and American. Readers learn about cherished family recipes and the history that brought these women to the present. Pradhan imbues the narrative with such honesty and real emotion that the novel is difficult to put down. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy mother-daughter fiction and all popular fiction collections."

—Library Journal