Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame
Author: Supriya Kelkar
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 328 pages
Publisher: Scholastic India
Publication Date: 30th June 202
Synopsis of Strong As Fire, Fierce as Fire
The time is 1857. Our country is under the British Rule. We are oppressed. Our fellow country people are dying of famine or oppression. This is the story of a 12 year old girl, Meera, who lives amid this scenario.
Meera’s marriage has been fix with Krishna but she don’t want to marry. But what can she do? She has no choice but to marry him. Meera wants to study but cannot because her father thinks education is reserved only for the boys. After all what would she do with education when she is to end up in the kitchen? As soon as she turns 13, she’d be sent to her in-laws house.
But Krishna unexpectedly died and Meera is forced to go through the practice of Sati: she must end her life by throwing herself on her dead husband’s funeral pyre. But she understandably doesn’t want to die. So, she flees.
She ends up with Bhavani, another girl like her, and ends up working in the house of a British East India Company captain. Meera wants to collect some money and start a new life elsewhere, but Bhavani wants to join the rebellion and help the country seek freedom.
How I Feel about Strong As Fire, Fierce as Flame
Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame was an incredible book, a must read, and one of the best historical fiction book set in India. It was the first time I ever read a middle grade book that is set in the pre-independence era in India. This book shined light upon the sexist mindset that prevailed during that time, how women were looked down upon, how women were forced to go through the evil practice of Sati, how they were not given any education, and so on.
Meera and Bhavani were amazing characters and were epitome of strong women. They were quite opposite of one another and shared a unique friendship dynamic. Bhavani was the strong headed one while Meera was the meek one at first but Meera transforms into a fierce fighter. It was great to see Meera’s transformation into a more confident young woman who has ready to fight for her country. The women in this book proved to be more than just women. They proved to be brave in a time period where they were given no recognition. They proved to be brave and fought for their freedom when they were given no choice and voice.
This book also reminded us how we brutally we were treated by the British; how they invaded our home, took our lands, taking outrageous taxes from the farmers, leading the nation into famine; how they viewed us as weak and submissive.
This book was also written incredibly. Supriya Kelkar’s writing was beautiful and her storytelling was engaging.
Overall, I think Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame is a must read for every Indian to remember what we went through before our independence and how much our people fought for our independence. This feminist book deserve a lot of appreciation. This book will remind you how strong a woman can be when society tries to crush her under its patriarchal claws.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
About the Author:
Born and raised in the Midwest, Supriya Kelkar learned Hindi as a child by watching three Bollywood films a week. Now she works in the film industry as a Bollywood screenwriter and has credits on one Hollywood film and several Hindi films. The award-winning book Ahimsa, inspired by her great-grandmother’s role in the Indian freedom movement, was her debut middle grade novel. Her other books include American as Paneer Pie and That Thing About Bollywood.
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