Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Is Roshomoyee actually dead? What does she want from Somlata? Who is Boshon, really? And what does the jewelry box have to do with all of this?
If I had to describe how I felt after finishing this book, I would say terrific, satisfying and effortless. And this description encompasses the writing and characters and the translation.
With only 140 pages long, this novella gives us three women, who are poles apart yet connected in the most ordinary ways. Somlata- a newlywed has a difficult time getting in terms with her in-laws, especially her pishima (father-in-law’s sister)- Roshomoyee. In a twisted and mysterious turn of events, this particular pishima entrusts her precious jewelry box to Somlata. But she does that after she has died, as a ghost basically.
Somlata, after hiding her new acquisition, falls back into her daily routine, only to be taunted again and again by the ghost. Somlata’s story is of a woman who takes charge of her failing household and brings back the lost prosperity and happiness through hard work and well-made decisions. Pishima, on the other hand, was widowed at a very young age and as a rule, was restricted from most worldly pleasures. She wanted to be free and live her life on her own terms, but little did she know that fate had other plans.
The final character to look out for is Boshon- Somlata’s daughter. She is fierce and free as the wind, detached from the world and opinionated as well as independent. Her story is hers to tell and I will leave it at that.
‘The Aunt who Wouldn’t die’ is a lot of things. It’s about the cruelties of life, the determination and strength while facing failure and the choices one gets to make in order to change the course of their life. From a completely different angle, it is the story of a Bengali household of Zamindars- proud as a peacock, egoistic and staunch believers of traditions and social status.
*Grateful to Bee Books for the physical copy. All opinions are my own*