Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

Blurb from Goodreads

From the Booker Prize finalist, a captivating novel about two unforgettable characters seeking to free themselves–one from the expectations placed on women in early twentieth-century Punjab, and the other from the weight of life in the contemporary Indian diaspora.

1929. Fifteen-year-old Mehar is one of three wives married to three brothers on a farm in small-town Punjab. The problem is, she doesn’t know which of them is her husband. She and her sisters spend their days hard at work, sequestered from the men–except when their domineering mother-in-law, Mai, summons them to a darkened chamber at night. Curious and headstrong, Mehar can’t help but try to piece together what Mai doesn’t want her to know. From beneath her veil, she studies the sounds of the men’s voices, the calluses on their fingers as she serves their tea. When at last, through the slats of the family’s china room, she glimpses something that seems to confirm her husband’s identity, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.

1999. A British Sikh man drops out of university and travels to Punjab, hoping to shake an addiction that has held him in its grip for over a year. Growing up in small-town England, the son of an immigrant shopkeeper, his experiences of racist ostracism and violence led him to seek a dangerous form of escape. Now, as he rides out his withdrawal at an old farmstead belonging to the family, he meets a woman, an outcast who offers him friendship.

At once sweeping and intimate, vivid and gripping, China Room is a deeply moving story of oppression, love, trauma, and resilience–the perfect book for our times. 

Why I Want To Read It

Happy first day of the week everyone! I hope you are all starting the week right. Another work week has also commenced, just one of many reasons why Monday is my least favorite day of the week (haha), as do most of you, I know. September has, so far, been a very hectic month. Things are not bound to get easier in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, I am hoping that you are all doing great, in mind, body and spirit. I hope you will all have (or had) a great day and an even greater start to the week. I am praying that this pandemic will end soon.

As it is Monday, it is also time for a new Goodreads Monday update. Whilst I have extended my “new” books reading journey, September is slowly shaping up to be a 2021 Booker Prize Longlist reading month. I am done with Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This and I am currently reading Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North. Two more books are in transit and one of these books is Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room which I am featuring in this Goodreads Monday update. The other book is Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual which was previously featured in another Goodreads Monday update.

Prior to this year’s Booker Prize longlist, I have never heard of Sahota, nor have I encountered any of his works. It came as a surprise when I learned that his second novel, The Year of the Runaways, was shortlisted for the 2015 Booker Prize. This gives me more reason to soak in to his prose. Moreover, the book sounds like a work of historical fiction which is just right at my alley. Interestingly, this year’s Booker Prize longlist is abound with works of historical fiction. I have no qualms though for, as I have mentioned, historical fiction is one of my favorite parts of the literary world. I just hope that these books live up to the hype and the expectations.

How about you fellow reader? Which 2021 Booker Prize longlisted novel is on your reading list? What made you add it to your list? I hope you could share your answers in the comment box. For now, have a happy Monday!