The Grand Daughter Project by Shaheen Chishti – Book Review

The Grand Daughter Project by Shaheen Chishti

By Rogers Wanambwa


Written by British-Indian author Shaheen Chishti, The Grand Daughter Project follows the unintentionally woven together lives of three women, Kamla, Lynette, and Helga, from three different continents who experience so much trauma at hands of the men in whose care the women are entrusted.

Through letters written to their granddaughters, they tell spell-bounding stories that shake up the reader’s faith and notions in many different things.


It delves into the gut-wrenching themes of gender inequality, war on races, especially minorities, female emancipation, immigration, poor parenting, and many more.

Shaheen tactfully brings the reader to the Holocaust that saw the baffling and senseless murder of six million European Jews during World War II, the 1958 Notting Hill race, and even the catastrophic Bengal famine of 1943 that took the lives estimated three million people.


Surprisingly captivating and raw, The Granddaughter Project aims at addressing and pointing out the injustices and reckless nature of some men who use their positions to mistreat, abuse, and are downright careless with women.

Yet, it also sheds a ray of hope, showing the improvements reached regardless of the long journey ahead to achieving equality and better treatment of women.


Through Helga, a holocaust survivor who grew up in Anschluss, Austria, the reader is catapulted into the middle of the Holocaust and brought to question, again, why things happened as they did and how similar conditions are brewing today in different parts of the world. It brings one to pose and ponder about what brings hate in people’s hearts.


Kamla, born during the Bengali Famine, tells a story similar to many hunger-stricken parts of the world, even here in Africa. But, again, it begs the question of whether enough is being done to helps these people. In her eyes, it appears as though no one came to the rescue. Sounds familiar, right?

Through her story, alcoholism and domestic violence are addressed, where her father was an alcoholic who tortures her mother for as long as she lives. Yet Kamla survives despite all this, survives and ends up working at a shelter home helping other women.


Through Lynette, born in the Caribbeans, immigration, early child prostitution, drug abuse, and other vices like rape get addressed. Yet, even when she and her mother move to London, life doesn’t become rosy as expected, a realization many immigrants face.

Again, racial discrimination is addressed in the Notting Hill riots, where Lynette is beaten and hospitalized. She would survive, though, to tell her story.


I loved how the book graphically and in detail tells the reader how women were ill-treated. As it is, millions of women get treated the way these three women were. Its subtle and open calls out on the injustices women faced and continue to face is an excellent torch into issues concerning the place of women in society.


The Grand Daughter Project comes when many women face domestic and gender violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. These issues need to be solved, and it does a fantastic job of highlighting them. Timely indeed.

Here’s a link for preorders if you are interested. It does help the reviewer if you order from here.😉

Or you can check out their website: http://www.shaheenchishti.com

Ms Eunice (final chapter)

Check out where the story begins from here.

Naturally, when you are an accomplished person, whether man or woman, your family, friends, and colleagues all expect to see a significant other in your life.

This has not been the case for me. I am closed off to anything that will lead to intimacy!

Has there never been anyone special?

Oh, there was! This handsome, tall, black guy I met on a case I was handling. He reported the case.

He was a concerned neighbour and a witness. I was intrigued by a man that felt touched by the beatings that the victim was suffering at the hands of her husband in the dead of night.

After the case, he asked me out. “I know how these things work. You can’t go out with witnesses, victims. But since it’s done…”

Honestly, I had already developed a crush on him. An engineer and he was doing well for himself.

We would date for two months and at some point, he professed he loved me.

🤦🏿‍♀️

I knew such a day would come. Maybe later? Not this soon! Who professes in just two months?

He was willing to wait. That I was worth waiting for. I just couldn’t take it.

I am ashamed of what I did next!

I stopped talking to him. Changed my number and since he never knew where I stayed, I was careful for him not to, I disappeared.

Why?

Well, I am still traumatized from that experience all those years ago! I knew that’s where we were headed and I chickened out.

So, yeah, here I am. In the middle of the night, awake, wondering what I will do to get over that day.

The therapy sessions don’t seem to be working…

Ms Eunice is a story I have had in my head for months. She speaks to several things that happen around us which for some reason, don’t get enough attention. a) Rape and defilement are some of the biggest detriments in girls and women’s lives affecting their entire lives. b) Educating girls remains an issue in Africa where millions don’t receive it, reasons some of which I mentioned in the story. c) Though Ms Eunice hints about receiving therapy, it is something most people in Africa never get or seek out. d) For some reason, it’s difficult for people to fathom anyone not wanting children and marriage.

Well those and other issues you might have noticed are things I wanted to highlight as we complete the second Afrobloggers challenge, the #WinterABC2021. Thanks for passing by.

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