February 20, 2023

The Daughters of Madurai Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE DAUGHTERS OF MADURAI by Rajasree Variyar Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


Author: Rajasree Variyar
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 336

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/THE-DAUGHTERS-OF-MADURAI

The Daughters of Madurai is both a page-turning mystery and a heartrending story of the fraught family dynamics and desperate choices that face a young mother in India. Spanning 1990s South India and present-day Australia, the novel follows Janani, a mother who will do anything to save her unborn daughter, and Nila, a young woman who embarks on a life-changing journey of self-discovery.

Madurai, 1992. A young mother in a poor family, Janani is told she is useless if she can’t produce a son—or worse, if she bears daughters. They let her keep her first baby girl, but the rest are taken away as soon as they are born, and murdered. But Janani can’t forget the daughters she was never allowed to love...

Sydney, 2019. Nila has a secret; one she’s been keeping from her parents for too long. Before she can say anything, her grandfather in India falls ill, so she agrees to join her parents on a trip to Madurai. Nila knows little about where her family came from or who they left behind. What she’s about to learn will change her forever.

While The Daughters of Madurai explores the harrowing issue of female infanticide, it’s also a universal story about the bond between mothers and daughters, the strength of women, the power of love in overcoming all obstacles—and the secrets we must keep to protect the ones we hold dear.

Fans of historical and contemporary fiction novels about India such asAlka Joshi’s The Henna Artist from the Jaipur Trilogy and Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us, as well as Kristin Hannah’s books exploring sisterhood and mother-daughter relationships will enjoy Variyar’s poignant debut. This extraordinary work of fiction tells a story that deserves to be read and discussed for years to come.

Top 5 Favorite Scenes and Why

Every scene in the novel is important to me in some way (of course!), but the following scenes have a particularly special meaning

1. Janani’s visit with Lavanika to the Meenakshi Amman temple

This is such a layered scene for me. A young woman, with her beloved daughter, praying to a powerful patron female deity for a son? It encapsulates for me the senselessness of women’s plight in Madurai.

I also love the contradictory chaos of the temple visit. The number of dedicated devotees means that these experiences are always shared with what feels like a million other people, and yet each person has a very specific encounter when they enter the atmosphere of that innermost shrine that can still be incredibly profound for them despite the surrounding hustle.

2. Sanjay’s bedside words with his mother, Parvati.

This is a quiet, profound moment for Sanjay, and another nod to the importance of mothers. Parvati’s quiet, gentle, and very powerful influence over her son is a really key mother-child relationship in the novel. The fact that she’s able to provide that even through her illness speaks to a strength even her husband doesn’t really acknowledge.

3. Nila’s attempt at a fun-run in Madurai

As a runner myself, I always get itchy feet in India! In the past it’s never been the most runner-friendly of environments – the traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian) and lack of clear footpaths has always been a hindrance. It’s also always pretty hot and humid. And as a woman, it’s at the very least going to attract a few stares. In the novel, Nila’s encounter with young hooligans on bikes is scary but could be much more serious. It’s a nod to another form of gender harassment in India, known as eve-teasing, which has led to tragic consequences in India.

4. Sanjay, Janani and Lavanika visit the market

The glimpse of a precious familial normalcy is what I really like about this scene. It’s a light-hearted progression of Janani and Sanjay’s relationship and also gives us a slice of what Sanjay may be like as a father through his interaction with Lavanika.

5. The final scene – arrival at Sydney airport

I realized from a very early point that I wanted to end the book with that final ‘Good’ from Janani, and I’m so glad that it has remained that way! It was important for me to finish with those tender, unspoken moments between the characters that say everything without saying anything.

Rajasree Variyar is an author and short story writer born in Bangalore and raised in Sydney. Her short stories won second prize in the Shooter Literary Magazine short story competition and were longlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop short story competition. The Daughters of Madurai is Variyar’s debut novel, inspired by a childhood memory of a news segment about a case of female infanticide in her birthplace of Bangalore—and her experience spending time with a grassroots charity in Madurai empowering women and educating girls and boys to help eradicate the practice. A marathoner and self-described history nerd, she lives in London.

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(1) winner will receive a finished copy of THE DAUGHTERS OF MADURAI - US Only.

Ends March 7th, midnight EST.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


A Dream Within A Dream

Guest Post


The Girl Who Reads

Review/IG Post


The Litt Librarian

Review/IG Post


The Erudite Labyrinth



A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic

Week Two:



IG Review



IG Review/LFL Drop Pic



Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post



Review & Guest Post/IG Post

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