Tuesday, January 9, 2024

UNDER THE BAKULA TREE: A Sisterhood Finds Roots Against the Patriarchy- BookReview

Name of the bookUNDER THE BAKULA TREE: A Sisterhood Finds Roots Against the Patriarchy

Author of the book: Prasannakumary Raghavan

GenreLiterary & Contemporary Fiction


Prasannakumary Raghavan is a Maths educator-turned-fiction writer, blogger, and academic author. 'Under the Bakula Tree is Prasannakumary Raghavan's debut eBook, a short read that fulfils her life-long creative ambition. Born and brought up in Kerala, India, she wrote her first story at 7. Her mother, after reading it emphasised, she graduates in science--story writing and publishing were the prerogatives of the privileged class at that time.

After her marriage in 1978, she joined her educator husband, employed in Africa, and together they served a string of African nations. She took early retirement in 2011 and joined a creative writing course to fulfil her childhood passion. It was a long journey and Under the Bakula Tree-- got released to the world on the Amazon KDP platform on 18 December 2021. More stories are taking shape on her laptop.

She and her husband now live in Cape Town, South Africa. Cooking delicious meals to entertain their two daughters and their husbands during visits is her other passion, which she accomplishes jointly with her husband. The pandemic has sadly stolen away that joy from them.

The story theme is sisterhood. It explores the females' struggles to break away from the shackles of genderism and patriarchy in a male-dominated, materially developing Kerala and how they can employ the power of sisterhood for that.


Sorrowful, traumatic, and intensely romantic, Under the Bakula Tree, set in Kerala, is the story of a widow tormented by patriarchal traditions. A mother of two, she finds love again, but as a widow, it is forbidden.

Then something happens; a sisterhood turns a corner, ready to take up her challenge. They meet under an old Bakula tree, where Sara finds the secrets to find love again.


Under The Bakula Tree by Prasanna Raghavan is a poignant and heartfelt literary and contemporary fiction short story book that explores the themes of female friendship and resilience in the face of societal constraints.

The protagonist of the tale, which is set in Kerala, is a widow who suffers from the oppressive customs of her society. Forbidden as a widow to pursue love, she finds a newfound sisterhood that isn't afraid to break these customs. The women get together under an old Bakula tree, where they talk about their hopes, dreams and secrets, and ultimately find solace and the strength to pursue love again.

The book beautifully portrays the strength and determination of women in the face of societal hardships, caste divisions, and family rivalries. The close relationship between the female characters is nuancedly portrayed, highlighting the significance of encouraging and helping one another through difficult times.

Under The Bakula Tree is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged book to read. It clarifies social inequities, women's empowerment, and the transforming potential of female friendship. This novel is a powerful reminder of women's tenacity and the value of solidarity in the face of hardship, even in spite of its flaws.


While the character development in the book is somewhat lacking, the author does a good job of describing the protagonists and supporting cast in great detail. The narrative mostly centers on the journey of a single woman, showing the difficulties she encounters after falling in love with a guy from a different caste. This ultimately results in forced marriage and the possibility of violence.

Readers will find themselves relating to Under The Bakula Tree on a personal level as it illuminates the struggles and obstacles experienced by women. It serves as a reminder that women still deal with comparable problems and crises in some regions of the world today. The book acts as a catalyst for the development of these empowering relationships amongst women and represents hope.

There were, nevertheless, a few points that might not have satisfied readers. The story concludes with one of the female protagonists embarking on a new beginning, but the reader is left wondering what ultimately happens to her. The book's short tale style may have contributed to the sense of hurried storytelling among some readers, given the lack of resolution.


Format: kindle Edition

Price: 118 INR

Pages: 55

Publisher: Self Published

Availability: Amazon

This Book is part of Blogchatter's #Book Review Program #TBR Challenge #BookChatter #2024