by PRIYA MULJI
HAVING not read any of Nikita Gill’s acclaimed books before, her latest offering was an interesting first journey into a world created by the popular poet.
The talented author has written poetry books before, but this is her first one that is entirely written in a lyrical form.
The unique story written in poetic verse catapults the reader into a mystical land and central is Kashmiri girl Paro at the beginning of post-partition India.
The book then takes the reader on a journey from her childhood to womanhood and although set in another era, it tackles issues that are still very relevant today.
The characters persevere through anxiety, body-shaming, abuse, homophobia and a variety of other things, which sadly remain taboo in South Asian culture. Throughout the story, Paro is visited by Hindu goddesses and we learn that if you look for them, they’re always there.
Apart from being skilfully written and taking on challenging subjects, this book is also educational, not just about Hindu mythology, but also about self-belief, hope and faith.
The coming of age story transports readers into a mystical land, obtaining that spiritual guidance we all need and more so during these troubled times of lockdown, or whatever is our situation.
One of the best books released in 2020, The Girl and the Goddess is an irresistible page-turner, which will connect strongly with a wide cross-section and more so female readers, who will be greatly enriched by thought-provoking lines like ‘for us, and all the prayers that we believed no-one was listening to.’
One of the best books of the year is a spiritually enriching experience and one that you will be thinking about long after it has ended. There is plenty of artistry in pages you can revisit and that makes this a timeless read, which is why it gets a perfect five stars.