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The Daughters of Madurai

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781398707269

Price: £16.99

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Oh my goodness. If I could give this book 6 stars out of 5 I would’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘One of those books that will stay with me for years and decades to come…’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A joy to read’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A temple city in lush southern India, Madurai is bustling with pilgrims and steeped in history and tradition. Yet not all traditions should be upheld…

1992. As a low-caste cleaner for a wealthy family, Janani’s duty has always been quiet obedience. Even at home, her mother-in-law’s word is law. Janani has never dared to dream of a different life. But now, she has something she’ll do anything to protect… even if it means losing everything she’s ever known.

2019. Nila doesn’t remember her life before they moved to Australia, and her parents never talk about their past. So when she joins her parents on a trip to their hometown, Madurai, she hopes she’ll finally uncover the truth. Especially as Nila seeks acceptance for a secret of her own…

For both Janani and Nila, love isn’t simple.
Sometimes love is an act of courage…

Winner of the JK Paper x Times of India Award for Best Debut
Lily’s Library Book Club pick for March 2024
Apple’s Best of the Month for May 2023

Haunting, moving, completely compelling – an incredible debut’ JENNIFER SAINT
‘A captivating and riveting debut from an unforgettable new voice’ LOUISE O’NEILL
‘Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, this richly evocative and spellbinding book will touch your soul’ VERONICA HENRY
‘A beautiful story, hauntingly writtenJULIE COHEN
‘Heartbreaking, emotional and thought-provoking… I will think about this story for a long time’ ALIYA ALI-AFZAL
‘Full of grace and tenderness’ JYOTI PATEL
A haunting, powerful novel’ THRITY UMRIGAR
‘Powerful and important‘ KAREN ANGELICO
A truly powerful story that remains with you long after the final word has been read’ GLAMOUR
‘This raw and moving debut packs a punch’ ADELE PARKS FOR PLATINUM
‘Utterly devastating and quietly hopeful’ WOMAN’S OWN
‘Once read it is not easily forgotten’ DAILY MAIL
‘You won’t be able to put this compelling novel down’ SUNDAY EXPRESS


An absolutely beautiful debut about motherhood, family, friendship, and love. It tackles immensely difficult themes with such grace and tenderness. I can't wait to read more from Rajasree.
Jyoti Patel
Utterly devastating and quietly hopeful.
A haunting, powerful novel.
Thrity Umrigar
THE DAUGHTERS OF MADURAI is an assured and accomplished debut about the courage of women. I cared deeply about the brave and loving Janani, fighting against misogyny and tradition to save her unborn child in India; I identified strongly with Australian Nila, raised in the diaspora, who is torn between culture and identity. It's a beautiful story, hauntingly written, and I look forward to more from Rajasree Variyar.
Julie Cohen
Heart-breaking, emotional and thought-provoking... this book will stay with me for a long time.
Aliya Ali-Afzal, author of Would I Lie to You?
This raw and moving debut packs a punch.
Exquisitely drawn, this book will pull you in from the first page. Nila and Janani's stories are delicately woven together and the sights, sounds and smells of India are so vivid. Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, this is a richly evocative and spellbinding book which will touch your soul. I raced through it as I was desperate to know what happens, but now I will return to read it more slowly and savour every word.
Veronica Henry
Once read it is not easily forgotten.
Fanny Blake, DAILY MAIL
A captivating and riveting debut from an unforgettable new voice.
Louise O'Neill
Powerful and important.
Karen Angelico
Madurai is brought to life in vivid descriptions of ornate, colourful temples, hectic streets and delicious meals... You won't be able to put down this compelling novel.
A truly powerful story that remains with you long after the final word has been read.