Book Review : Forbidden Desires authored by Madhuri Banerjee

The title of the book Forbidden Desires screamed that it is a Forbidden Territory, while I was having a glimpse of the bookshelf! However, exploring the forbidden is a human instinct.Hence, the book was diligently picked by me.

Forbidden Desires

Title of the Book: Forbidden Desires
Author: Madhuri Banerjee 
Number of Pages: 262 
Publishers: Rupa Publications

Unravelling the hidden


Forbidden Desires is a story of four women in their 30s-Naina, Kavita, Ayesha and Kaajal. Each of them we read, going through their everyday struggle of being born a ‘woman’ in this modern Indian Society.The coterie in which they and we live is ruthless and demanding.Especially on Women –be it as an employee, wife, mother or an entrepreneur.

It’s a constant struggle to juggle through the various roles a woman plays in her life and these issues are very well depicted in this story. It is also this daunting expectation which makes the four female protagonists of the book go through depression, isolation, a lack of self-esteem, identity crisis and finally explore their Forbidden Desires!


The story of the book Forbidden Desires talks about the four women in turns and brings it all together, intertwined and directly or indirectly influencing each other’s life. Of course, there are ample doses of sex, lust and betrayal in each of the stories wherein it closely resembles M&Bs. Madhuri Banerjee has given the reader a guided tour of Delhi in this book with her vivid descriptions of the various shopping places, food joints, social gatherings and its locales. She has also portrayed the obsession of Delhiites with the ‘Brands’ in her descriptions of the female characters which are quite amusing!

Causes addressed

While reading the portrayal one may feel that the book is all about candy floss and vanity fair.However, on further dwelling on the storyline, a reader will realize that the writer has also talked about the haunting issues of

  • ‘Unsafe Delhi’ and provides solutions through the character of Harshavardhan 
  •  LGBT and Live-in relationship issues through the female characters.
  • According to me, Forbidden Desires also indirect dwells on the effects of Modernization, Urbanization and Empowerment of women that has led to a sense of dissatisfaction, alienation and isolation especially among Indian women.

Parting Words on Forbidden Desires

All the causes addressed are dealt under the umbrella of extramarital affairs and infidelity in this book of Forbidden Desires!

At some point, especially during the climax of the story,  the decisions taken by the characters become predictable, homologous and imprudent which makes one unsympathetic towards the female characters (This is just my viewpoint-No offence)

Karma says, ‘What goes around, comes around’ and this is so very true of this story.The trigger in the story remains the character of Jayashree. Now, you have to grab a copy of Forbidden Desires and read the story to know -Who is Jayashree and What role does she play in the story!

If one reads closely, there are some loose ends left by the writer like middle-class families going abroad for vacations though they are trying hard to make ends meet, too many desperate housewives, the character of Tarini and Pinky is incomplete…Maybe, this calls for a sequel to this book!

Overall, the book Forbidden Desires is a good read during the Valentine month though I don’t  see sanity in having affairs and being disloyal!

Why this Book Review?

It has been more than a decade since I ventured into the genre of ‘Romance’, barring the handful Shakespeare Works that I interpret to my students. I  vaguely remember that my last Romantic Novel(if I may say so) was an old M&B series(Mills n Boon) which I read just after being married(Pun unintended;) a couple of years into the new millennium!

Since then, I have ventured into other genres and have been mesmerized by the works of Sylvia Plath (purely due to academic requirements and of course due to age;).Hence, when I started reading Forbidden Desires it gave a Mills & Boon feel, interspersed with grapevine and an Indian flavour to the story!

When I completed the book, I strongly felt I should put across my views about the book because some people may like this book, some may hate this but one cannot ignore the various issues put across in the pages of the book.

I give this book a rating of 4 / 5!


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Forbidden Desires

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