Guest Blogger: Mary

Sonia Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met Leela, a beautiful and charismatic bar dancer with a story to tell. Leela introduced Sonia to the underworld of Bombay’s dance bars: a world of glamorous women, of fierce love, sex and violence, of customers and gangsters, of police, prostitutes and pimps.

Beautiful Thing is a non-fiction book that reads like a novel. Well crafted and beautifully written the storey is compelling, graphic, forceful and occasionally repelling. The storey follows events in the life of Leela a bar dancer working in the underworld of Bombay’s glamour and sex industries. Her life is desperate, at times almost unbearable but full of fight and hope. Leela has a lot to loose even in a world where some families consider their daughters work as a prostitute is a respectable business. Leela’s grit and determination leaves you humbled. She is not easily dismissed or beaten by events or people in authority. A good read for those interested in a totally different mindset and culture.

My thanks to Canongate for providing the book for review.