I had never heard of Scaachi Koul before, but having seen this book recommended everywhere from Goop to wellbeing podcasts, I thought I would give it a go. It was also often placed alongside books by Sloane Crosley, who I absolutely love. 

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This is a book of essays by Koul, a Canadian writer for BuzzFeed. Her parents are both from India, and she was the first of her family to be born and raised in Canada. In her essays she talks about what it’s like to be “first generation immigrant” and to be essentially different to everyone in your immediate social circle. She talks about what it’s like to be trolled on Twitter, what it’s like to have an alcoholic friend and what it’s like to be a woman in general. 

I found this book a fascinating, humorous read. Koul’s life is very different to my own and perhaps because of a somewhat sheltered upbringing, it had never occurred to me just how much the media is skewed towards the idea of “white” being the only acceptable version of beauty – and how that might affect non-white children growing up. The essay about how women are “hunted” and constantly watched by men was fascinating and something that again, I had not considered before but definitely rang true.

Despite being a lot about race and feminism, this book isn’t “a feminist book” or “a book about racism.” It’s not a serious, academic book, and it’s not in the same vein as The Female Eunuch. Rather, it’s a book about being Scaachi Koul, who just happens to be a woman of Indian descent.

I love the stories of her trips to India, of attending her cousin’s wedding (not at all what we think of as “a bright and colourful ceremony” but rather several days of rituals and ceremonies with lots of complicated clothing and not enough sleep). And I especially love the references to her father and her conversations with him. I think her father should probably write his own book as he seems quite amusing in himself – as evidenced by the author bio he wrote for the end of the book.

I normally finish a review by saying to whom I would recommend this book. Although this book is by a woman and covers a lot of female issues, it also talks a lot about the universal miseries of life so I don’t think (despite its bright pink cover) this is a book for women only. I think it’s insightful and funny and clever without being pretentious, and it’s something anyone might enjoy reading, and even learn something from.

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 Thanks for reading.

You can read my other book reviews here.


Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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