Rafina by Shandana Minhas- Review

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Name          – Rafina
 Author                 – Shandana Minhas
 Publisher              – Pan Macmillan
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Of late, feminism is the norm in women’s fiction. More than feminism, it tends to be misandry. A welcome change to this cliche is Rafina by Shandna Minhas for the book is primarily the musings of the protagonist.

Rafina is an ambitious girl who dreams of being the billboard girl one day. Living in a low income family with her mother and brother, Rafina’s chances of being a star is menial. Nonetheless she dreams big and work hard to attain her aim. With the help of her Rosie Khala, she learns the beauty care jobs like waxing, threading etc. From stinky armpits to smelly mouth, the dealing with the customers is far from what she expected. However, she managed to land herself in Radiance beauty parlour where the top film stars and models come to transform themselves. The life in Radiance is a far cry from what she has expected. Instead of becoming a top model, she becomes a tea girl. Nonetheless, an unfortunate day in her life turns out to be the most auspicious for her. Further developments wrap up in the climax.

Character craft

Rafina’s character itself is the highlight of the book. She is different from the usual miss goody two shoes that we get to read. She is condescending, and self obsessed. The book primarily the rants in her brain,which could be termed as her musings. She thinks low of almost everyone who succeed and thinks that she deserve a better chance in life. The narration could have been in first person since most part of the book is about Rafina’s thoughts. Rest of the characters are not given much space to develop except that of Rosie Khala.

Rafina’s comparison of herself against the other women is body-shaming in disguise. Making fun if fat bodies ( eventhough the character says it.) The dark side of the modelling industry is subtly mentioned. The climax was abrupt and a squeezing in of sexual indulgence in one word, too contributed as a turn off. The insinuation was that the models have all compromised to attain the success was mildly propagated.

Overall the book is a multidimensional read.


Different dimenions

Scenario:   3 /5

Narration    :   3/5
Character   :   4/5
Relevance   :   /5
Research     :/5
Entertainment Quotient: 3.5/5

This review is in return of a free book from the publisher  

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