The Daughters of Madurai

Rajasree Variyar


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Orion Books
27 April 2023
ISBN: 9781398707269
400 pages

From the publisher

‘Oh my goodness. If I could give this book 6 stars out of 5 I would’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘One of those books that will stay with me for years and decades to come…’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A joy to read’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


‘A girl is a burden. A girl is a curse.’

Madurai, 1992. A young mother in a poor family, Janani is told she is useless if she can’t produce a son – or worse, bears daughters they can’t afford. They let her keep her first baby girl but the rest are taken away as soon as they are born. The fate of her children has never been in her hands. But Janani can’t forget the daughters who weren’t allowed to live.

Sydney, 2019. Nila has a secret, one she’s been keeping from her parents for far too long. Before she can say anything, her grandfather in India falls ill and she agrees to join her parents on a trip to Madurai – the first in over ten years. Growing up in Australia, Nila knows very little about where she or her family came from, or who they left behind. What she’s about to learn will change her forever…

Perfect for fans of Christy Lefteri and Delia Owens.



Haunting, moving, completely compelling – an incredible debut’ JENNIFER SAINT

‘A captivating and riveting debut from an unforgettable new voice’ LOUISE O’NEILL

‘Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, this richly evocative and spellbinding book will touch your soul’ VERONICA HENRY

‘A beautiful story, hauntingly written‘ JULIE COHEN

‘Heartbreaking, emotional and thought-provoking… I will think about this story for a long time’ ALIYA ALI-AFZAL

‘Full of grace and tenderness’ JYOTI PATEL

A haunting, powerful novel’ THRITY UMRIGAR

‘Powerful and important‘ KAREN ANGELICO

A truly powerful story that remains with you long after the final word has been read’ GLAMOUR

‘This raw and moving debut packs a punch’ ADELE PARKS FOR PLATINUM

‘Utterly devastating and quietly hopeful’ WOMAN’S OWN

‘Powerful and moving novel … once read it is not easily forgotten’ DAILY MAIL