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Well-Behaved Indian Women Reader’s Guide

By Saumya Dave

Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave


Questions for Discussion

1. This book examines the bonds mothers and daughters share. Were there any parts of Mimi and Nandini’s or Nandini and Simran’s relationships that you identified with?

2. Nandini faces racism and misogyny at work. Discuss the occurrences and how she handles the situations. Would you have reacted the same? Have you ever experienced something similar?

3. Simran and Kunal have many years of history together. Do you think Simran made the right choice in the end? Why or why not? Have you ever been in a situation where you struggled with whether to keep working through it, or to let go?

4. All three women are figuring out how to hold on to their identities while feeling the pressure to be the “Perfect Indian Woman.” How does this struggle ultimately impact their decisions?

5. Mimi has a secret that she does not share with her daughter or granddaughter. Do you think she was right to keep it to herself or did she owe her family the truth?

6. Planning a wedding can either bring family together or push them apart. How did planning Simran and Kunal’s wedding affect the characters in this story?

7. Communication ends up being the key to fixing the relationships in this story. What secrets do the characters keep from the important people in their lives, and why? How do these secrets ultimately impact their relationships with one another and themselves?

8. Simran, Nandini, and Mimi all redefine their relationship with ambition throughout the novel. How does age impact their choices? Is it ever too late to pursue a goal?

9. Ranjit mentions that Nandini should give him the benefit ofthe doubt instead of assuming the worst. How did their relationship change?

10. Sheila has known Simran since their childhood, while Yuwa meets Nandini in her fifties; however, both friendships are defined by their chemistry and honesty. How did these friendships affect the decisions Simran and Nandini made?
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