A mother’s final request and three sisters with seemingly nothing in common – a tried and true premise for a plotline. Thankfully, “The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters” takes a standard theme and makes it its own in this 2019 release by Balli Kaur Jaswal. Following the death of their mother, sisters Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina are tasked with a week-long journey through India as detailed in a letter shared with them prior to her passing. The letter outlines a detailed itinerary and is intended to bring the sisters closer together and rekindle their sense of family, community, and duty. Needless to say, there are sure to be tensions along the way and the outcome is not exactly the same as what was intended.
Jaswal’s writing embraces the reader and connects you to the characters, places, and experiences woven throughout the story. Her characters come alive and their struggles can be felt keenly as if you are there with them every step of the way. Anyone who has ever been unsure how to share a secret or a shameful moment with their family will understand what the Shergill sisters are going through together. They are real people with faults and flaws; knowing that sometimes you try to do your best and it still falls flat. These are life-sized characters with complex personalities, a testament to the skill of their author.