"A stunning first novel…. Intensely atmospheric — an artistic triumph."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[She] displays the gifts of a first-rate social observer [and] passionately records the longings, losses and compromises of her characters’ lives."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"The characters shimmer with life, their predicaments grab the reader by the throat, their fate has the reader on the edge of the seat—. An enthralling read [that] offers a glimpse of humanity that is both intimate and universal."
—The Times (UK)
"An impressive debut."
—The National Post
"…a shining new novel—What the Body Remembers heralds the arrival not only of a significant new talent, but also of a fresh perspective on history, rarely experienced before."
—The Readers Showcase
"Shines—an ambitious debut."
“Wonderful! Wonderful! I just finished What the Body Remembers — what an amazing novel! I
feel it has expanded my understanding of the world vastly. And as a writer, I feel nourished, replenished. I drink your words!”
“An epic of heartbreak and honour set in Northwest India in the dying light of the Raj…. Painstakingly researched, its characters frankly convincing, and set against a rich backdrop of gods, politics and tradition, this novel earned its Montreal-born author the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2000 for Best Book in Canada and the Caribbean.”
—National Post, Dec. 30/2000
"I very much admired the strength and control with which the author keeps her complex story going, and at the same time keeps it clear, and true to the spirit of India."
“If you’re one of those readers of novels who likes to think ahead, you might want to clear some space on the bedside table for What the Body Remembers… It’s not going to be out for another year, but already the buzz is stuff of the highest voltage…. The Next Big Thing.”
—Stephen Smith, “Grub Street”, The Globe and Mail
—The Globe and Mail
“Baldwin describes the scenes of the Independence movement with great verve. For the subcontinent, Partition was the most momentous event of the 20th century. But men who were affected by it…have written most of the literature. This is a woman’s perspective. And because women suffered most when their homes were uprooted, this book becomes a more intimate account.”
“While What the Body Remembers will be read as a story of familial relations, it will be remembered more as social history — the customs, traditions and mores of rural Punjab, many still unchanged.”
—India Today, September 1999
"an impressive first novel, hype or no hype. Baldwin’s passion for re-membering her dis-membered homeland, and her desire to tell women’s version, propel the last half of the novel and make it particularly potent."
—Quill & Quire
“A richly textured often poetic story … Newcomer Baldwin’s theme — the grueling uses to which women’s bodies and spirits are put, and their abuses at the hands of men — combines with the political analogue of India’s struggle for independence to produce a lush, sensuous drama.”
“What the Body Remembers is an engaging story of life in pre-partition India, and a compassionate look at the lives of its two protagonists — Sikh women who are practically voiceless within their own culture…History is merely a background to the domestic story, but its intimacy is what makes this novel work…What the Body Remembers is a worthwhile read.”
“…a shining new novel…What the Body Remembers heralds the arrival not only of a significant new talent, but also of a fresh perspective on history, rarely experienced before.”
—The Readers Showcase.
“…Baldwin both overwhelms and educates as she takes readers on this crowded and eventful ride through the complexities of life in 20th century India.”
“Shimmers with life…An enthralling read.”
—The Times (UK)