Nair turns her gaze, in this new work, towards those who are most in need of kindness. Even when they do not see themselves through kind eyes. She is gentle on her women, and there’s 10 of them in this book. Each one maneuvering life and its challenges in earnest. There’s the other woman, the child, the abused, the abusive, the revenge-taker, the hider, the seeker, the one walking away with her head high, the one embracing life, the one rejecting it… Nair doesn’t sit on a high horse and tell you which ones to like and which ones to hate. There are no easy heroines and vamps. It is also a story of strangers, women, extending kindnesses towards each other. Which is what, despite the death in the first sentence, and the palpable presence of violence through the book (there’s child abuse, acid attack, stalking, cyber-bullying and more), makes it so soulful, stirring up a warm feeling.

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