Today I am reviewing a book that is quite possibly the best book I have read this year, the beautiful The Girl and the Goddess by Nikita Gill. Many thanks to Nikita, and Ebury, for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.
A mesmerising poetic tale following one girl’s wild journey of strength, beauty and self-discovery, told with lyrical wonder and spiritual revelation by one of the UK’s most popular poets. With over 558k followers on Instagram, 125k likes on Facebook and 36k followers on Twitter, Nikita’s fans include Cara Delevingne, Alanis Morisette, Jameela Jamil and Kristen Bell.
Let her be a little less human, a little more divine
Giver her heart armour so it doesn’t break as easily as mine.
Meet Paro. A girl with a strong will, a full heart and much to learn. Born into a family reeling from the ruptures of Partition, follow her as she crosses the precarious lines between childhood, teenage discovery and realising her adult self all while navigating different cultures, religions and identities.
Returning to her core themes of feminism, healing and mythology in her most powerful and personal work yet, Nikita’s masterful poetry, along with her beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, taps into the rich well of Hindu mythology, conjuring up jasmine scented voices and ancestral smiles as Paro confronts fear, desire and the very darkest parts of herself in the search for meaning and empowerment.
I have started this review many times before scrapping every word and starting again – after all, what could I possibly say that would do this exquisite book justice and sufficiently capture the way that it made me feel? When a book reduces you to tears before the end of the third page, you know you are about to read something special. “A Secret From Me Too You” reached out and touched my soul in a way few things do and is the poem I never knew I needed. In actual fact, the same can be said about the whole book. Nikita Gill’s writing left me feeling strong, fierce, empowered – all emotions that I am not used to feeling – and I thank her for that.
Although this book covers difficult topics, and Paro sees and experiences things that no human should, there is a sense of peace to the writing. Even as Paro grows and begins to understand the world more, and a feeling of sadness enters the writing, there remains a beauty in the way her mother teaches her, and in how Paro challenges herself and others to do better, to BE better.
I had a limited familiarity with the goddesses who visit Paro throughout the book, and loved the beautiful folkloric feel to their stories. As they shared them with Paro, I could easily imagine them being handed down orally from generation to generation. The gorgeous illustrations that accompany these tales add so much to the beauty of the stories and enhanced my understanding.
Even through painful situations, Nikita’s writing is so beautiful that it soothes and calms, and I know this is a book that I will return to when I am struggling.
I feel a bit sorry for the next book that I pick up to read, because The Girl and the Goddess is an incredibly tough act to follow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and artist living in the south of England. With a huge online following, her words have captivated hearts and minds all over the world. Nikita is an ambassador for National Poetry Day and is a regular speaker at literary events. Her previous works include Fierce Farytales and Great Goddesses. The Girl and the Goddess is her first novel.
Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this wonderful book.