“Sunjeev Sahota’s writing is the stuff of miracles. Emotional and heartrending, China Room juggles questions of love, debt, and what it means to build a home alongside the history that carries us. China Room is a propulsive dream, intricately wrought, and Sahota is a maestro.”


Just finished China Room by Sanjeev Sahota. This book takes place in two parts. One
Part takes place in 1929 in the Punjab and the second part takes place in 1999 in the same place.
The part from 1929 tells the story of Mehar, a young woman who along with two other young woman are marrying three brothers. They will all live in the same household, with the woman living separately from the men. The woman live together in the China Room. They will only meet their husbands in the dark chamber when sent for by the mother so they can mate with the obvious purpose of producing children.

The complications that arise from that plan are what this story is about, and in my opinion is by far the best part of the book.
The second story is about a descendent of Mehar who is fighting a drug problem, so he decides to stay at the abandoned farm where Mehar once lived with her husbands family so he can try to rehabilitate himself.

While both stories are emotional and touching I felt the modern part just wasn’t as interesting.
It’s a quick read and worth reading for the story about the women. The stories are told moving back and forth in time so they are not separated in the book. It’s not that the second story is bad, it’s just not as interesting or moving as the first part and frankly I guess I missed the point as to why it’s included in the story.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 15th November 2021

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Richard Franco