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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Wild Boar in the Cane Field: A Novel by Anniqua Rana is a story that showcases the reality of life in a society where people still hold strongly onto superstitious beliefs. Tara is found abandoned and covered in flies — in fact, flies fill her nostrils and eyes. The baby is quiet with her tiny fist clenching one of those wretched flies as if it were a rattle her mother had left her. She is found in the ladies’ compartment by Bibi Saffiya on their way to Punjab. Saffiya and Bhaggan raise the little girl like their own and they communicate their painful experience with men to her. She quickly learns that “without a man, your life is pointless.” Follow her story as she struggles to win a place in society and be recognized. But is she destined for the same tragedy as the women in the village in which she is raised?
It is interesting how an abandoned baby can change the lives of two women, giving them a sense of belonging they couldn’t get from men. The story is set in a society where the inequality of the sexes is the norm and the author does an impeccable job in exploring themes like family, friendship, humanity, and womanhood. Anniqua Rana’s writing is poignant, and the author creates a novel that is a powerful indictment of the injustices suffered by women. The story is told in a light, atmospheric yet compassionate voice. It is poignant and evokes a deep sense of pathos. This narrative plunges the reader into the reality of some of the areas in South Asia where respect for women depends mostly on their being attached to a man. This is a well-crafted story with a strong protagonist and a story that is multilayered. There are powerful inner psychological currents to navigate. Wild Boar in the Cane Field: A Novel makes a great treat for fans of women’s fiction.