Thursday 4 August 2022

Book Review - 'Chronicles Of The Lost Daughters' By Debarati Mukhopadhyay

There are many aspects of the past that are left unexplored or unspoken. In the book 'Chronicles Of Lost Daughters by Debarati Mukhopadhyay, the author focuses on some unknown tales from Bengal. Let's look at what this page-turner focuses on.

Book Review - 'Chronicles Of Lost Daughters' by Debarati Mukhopadhyay

Book Review of 'Chronicles of the lost daughters'

Book Cover:

The cover showcases the dense vegetation of Bengal and the caricature of the story's lead character.

The plot: 

Krishnoshundor, a Brahmin, loses all his ancestral rights to perform rituals at the ancient temple of Bengal as his siblings face unspeakable circumstances. Krishnoshundor has to leave his village with his wife, two daughters, and sister Bhubonmoni, a young widow. He is lured into a respectable life far from his town. But later, he realizes he is tricked into working as an enslaved person in sugarcane fields. 

Hundreds of people are stuffed in ships to be deported to a different places to lead a horrific life of slavery. But things fall in favor of Bhubonmoni. She is relieved from the bonds of slavery to a safe place in Calcutta.

Krishnoshundor's daughters were forcefully picked by a shrewd entrepreneur, Nobokishore Dutta, for his self-interest.

What Krishnoshundor's daughters had to undergo at this tender of 8 is spine chilling. The story moves forward, introducing many fictitious and real characters from history.

How these story characters from different angles meet under unpredictable circumstances, how they are connected, and What fate has chosen for them is worth the read.

Key takeaway: 

  • The book 'Chronicles Of The Lost Daughters' by Debarati Mukhopadhyay is an English translation of the famous Bengali novel 'Narach.' Narach in Bengali means a sharp sword.
  • The book contains 24 chapters, and each seamlessly takes the story forward. The parallel narration of multiple events keeps the readers gripped.
  • The book is beautifully translated into English by Arunava Sinha, keeping intact the Bengali flavor.
  • The complete story depicts unlawful practices like child marriages, indentured laborers, child widows, Metiabruz, and the atrocities of the caste system. The story takes you to a lush yet melancholic backdrop of colonial times of Bengal, where the social stature of people was valued more than human life. 
  • The story skilfully narrates by interlinking the real-life characters from history, like, Rabindranath Tagore and Dr. Kadambini Ganguly, 
  • The book focuses on the dark side of child marriages and speaks loudly about its devastating circumstances.
  • The author has provided every story character to grow in her writing style. She also throws light on how 19th century Bengal was eyeing a slow change where girl education was slowly creeping in so that they could raise their voice against the evil socio-economic practices of the society.

Final Word:  

The book 'Chronicles Of The Lost Daughters' depicts corruption, child widowhood, the feudal system, poverty, and colonialism. The author, Debarati Mukhopadhyay has woven the lesser known facts in her masterpiece debut English novel, beautifully putting across the point that a women's innocence, if compromised, can fight for her injustice like a sharp sword. Crisp, intense, blood-curdling, historical tale of spine-chilling practices faced by the women of Bengal.

About the Author: 

Debarati Mukhopadhyay is a famous author of contemporary Bengali literature. Her bestselling novels include Narach, Dakatraja, Shikhandi, Ishwar Jakhan Bandi, and Aghore Ghimiye Shiva. Her book Dasgupta Travels was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Pursakar in 2021. Most of her work has been adapted for the silver screen. Debarati is a prolific writer, an officer, bestselling author, travel-enthusiast, amateur violinist, mother to an infant, and a youth icon who inspires many. A widely recognized public speaker, Debarati can often deliver motivational talks at educational seminars, conferences, and the halls of spiritual institutions.

About the translator:

Arunava Sinha, co-director of the Ashoka Centre for Translation and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Ashoka University, has translated books of various genres like fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. His translations from Bengali to English and vice versa have been published in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the UK, and the USA, and have won several awards in India and have been finalists for recognition in the USA.

Book Title: Chronicles Of Lost Daughters
Author: Debarati Mukhopadhyay
Genre: Historical Fiction
Availability: Amazon and other platforms
No.of Pages: 326
My Rating:5/5

This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program. All the pointers expressed in the review are honest. 

You can view all our book reviews here.


  1. wow..5/5 thats wonderful. I loved the review. Bengali story plots are always gripping and mostly the authors are well versed with their vocabulary. I am sure it must be a wonderful read.

  2. Bengali stories are always full of emotion. You have given a 5/5 rating that means it is great. I am going to get a copy now.

  3. Good to know about this prolific writer and her works. This book especially would make an interesting read if one wants a peek into the ill practices faced by the women of Bengal and how they fought against them.

  4. Childhood marriage is such an touching topic and it seems this book cover it so wonderfully. I love Bengali culture and love to read story set in that culture. your 5/5 review has made me curious to check out this book soon.

  5. The plot definitely seems interesting. I love the detailed review that introspects the book well and im sure I will be picking this up sopner

  6. I have read the original version and Debarati Mukherjee's every word captivates the reader. The way she portrays the female characters is unparalleled. English translations are such a boon to getting to know about the talented regional writers.

  7. The story sounds quite gripping and full of varied emotions. I have seen few Bengali movies, they always have a good story line. Would love to give this book a read. Thanks for the review.

  8. Loved the story concept, i am definitely going to read this book. Best part is, it gives the context of bengali culture and traditions back in 90's and struggles of a women.

  9. I haven't heard about this book.i always keep on looking what all books are in the market but these days i am a bit busy with family duties so didn't even knew about it thanks for sharing this post.will look in to this book.

  10. When it comes to quality read I bank on your reviews for sure Meenal and when you gave 5/5 then this is going to be a must to read book for me. Will try to pick this book as soon as possible and read. Thanks for the recommendation

  11. Wow!! This looks so interesting, I am so looking forward reading this book now. Thanks for sharing this honest review!!

  12. The story and plot is actually compelling. And getting a glimpse into the bengali culture is a treat. Adding to my tbr.

  13. I enjoyed the story concept and planned to read this book. The best part is that it provides context for Bengali culture and traditions in the 90s, as well as women's struggles. It will be something different read for me.

  14. Chronicles Of The Lost Daughters seems to be a good story. A 5-star rating by you is the proof. The excerpt ignited the eagerness to read the complete story:)

  15. From your review I understand this story has many layers, it will make a great read. I must say the book cover is vey thoughful and caught my attention immediately.

  16. The author is new for me, I haven't read anything. but the plot seems well planned and researched, I am sure the books would be worth a read Thank you for sharing this review, wilt definitely check it out on my kindle


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