Book Review: 'Bitch Goddess For Dummies'

Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 9:07am IST | Agency: dna

Book: Bitch Goddess For Dummies
Author: Maya Sharma Sriram
Publisher: Rupa

Pages: 260
Price: Rs195

There’s the stereotypical bitch: the woman who takes the credit for work someone else has done, who can entice the most perfect of men, and who looks drop-dead gorgeous while others can barely manage to look like frumps. That’s there. Add a plain-Jane protagonist, a marriage-obsessed mother, a job where you are barely appreciated, a runaway dad and a hunk  you have the hots for and you are the star of Maya Sharma Sriram’s debut chick lit novel, Bitch Goddess For Dummies.

Mira Iyer, a 27-year-old wimp, is the protagonist of Sriram’s novel that’s set in Singapore and India.

It takes several failed dates, the loss of a major project to the office bitch Sanya, a hunky ‘boyfriend’ Rohan, and a pushy mother for Mira to realise that she needs to turn into a ‘bitch goddess’.

In order to get there, Mira must undergo a physical and mental makeover. While the physical makeover isn’t hard, Mira finds it more difficult to deal with her personal insecurities. So she’s often confused, troubled and sometimes angry enough to get recklessly drunk.

Obsessed with being one up on Sanya, the ‘new’ Mira often finds herself slipping into her vulnerable self, a break from pretending to be someone she isn’t. One particularly vulnerable moment leads to a wild night with Rohan.

The idea of a submissive woman channelling her inner goddess and developing a backbone is a great one. However, giving it the tag of ‘Bitch Goddess’ is a bit of a letdown since that tag is born out of a stereotype. Does a woman really need to be pretty and well-dressed to get a boyfriend? Do you have to be a bitch to do a job well?

The ending is clichéd (what else is new?). Mira gets the guy, the office bitch is nowhere to be seen, the father makes a return and it turns out the mother is not so pushy after all. And then you have the sappy end involving Mira and her heartthrob Rohan. Sigh.

Sridhar’s prose is unimaginative with unnecessary lines like “She sipped water from her glass” and “She put her glass down and picked up some tofu with a fork”. Each chapter is peppered with Bitch Goddess rules, like ‘Bitch Goddess Rule #4: A Bitch Goddess should never have a family. It makes her act out of character’ and ‘Bitch Goddess Rule #13: A natural Bitch Goddess is like a natural blonde. Peroxide can never compete with the real stuff and hope to win’. These rules not only fail as advice but also are difficult to relate to.

And for all the promise in the title, Mira, or even Sanya, aren’t even that bitchy.

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