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Bengali Girls Don't: Based on a True Story (Memoirs of a Muslim Daughter) [Kindle Edition]

L.A. Sherman
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Praise for Bengali Girls Don't

"I've laughed, cried and relived some of my past through your words. Painfully beautiful."
-- Summer Yasmin, writer and blogger at  

"Wow! Bengali Girls DO . . . realize the American Dream, that is. It's a money-plot with everything desirable in it, tears and laughter and a wonderful ending."
-- André Jute, author of STIEG LARSSON Man, Myth & Mistress

"Your book looks great."
 -- Anjali Banerjee, author of Imaginary Men and Invisible lives
"I like the style. Interesting the way she moves backward, forward. I like it."
-- Don Bruns, author of Too Much stuff and Jamaica Blue 

"What an interesting--sometimes near tragic--life. The US of A really is a place where dreams can come true . . ."
-- Alan Nayes, author of Gargoyles and The Unnatural 

"Thank you so much L.A. for sharing your brave story - - thanks for creating awareness!"
--Pamala Kennedy Chestnut, author of More Than Rice

Overview of Bengali Girls Don't:

Tells a triumphant story of a young woman achieving her own personal freedom after enduring years of oppression. You will travel with Luky to Bangladesh and England (and back again) while experiencing her painful journeys and betrayal by those closest to her. Her experiences will provoke an emotional response that causes the reader to rally behind Luky. --Nicole Renguso, Hillsborough County Chair at The Children's Movement of Florida

A modern day Cinderella story about the author Luky and her incredible journey from her birth during Bangladesh's liberation war to the present. Her desperation to be a 'normal teenager' turned into a nightmare when she was betrayed by her parents and forced into an arranged marriage with an older man at age 15. My heart ached when I read what horrendous conditions she endured. Her descriptive writing had me visualizing everything she suffered through. I was amazed at Luky's strength and determination she used to survive each day in the hope of one day being home again. This is one story that will forever be etched in my mind and heart. --From the Publisher

5 out of 5 stars

"Your story has touched too many strings on my Heart and Soul, too many familiar cords. I need to breathe it all in and EXHALE. Let's just say your story has touched me. Yes some tears, yes some anger, and yes many smiles. I guess that's the definition of as they Aussie's say a GOOD READ."
-- Kevin Barrett 

"I have had every emotion reading this book, from crying when her mom left her to anger with her being beaten . . . to loving the part with her grandmother and her talking about the fridge and washer and dryer - - LOL! best part - - she sounds like she was a wonderful person. So glad Luky's life is what she wants it to be now."
-- Jessica Cowart, full time mother and wife 

More Praise . . .

"Despite all the struggles she went through in life, she still managed out strong! My god, she metamorphosed into a fabulous individual."
-- Rajesh Unnithan

"Her story will break your heart and at the same time you'll be thankful for the life you've had."
-- Rick Willard

"Really shows the other side and view of things that many people take for granted."
-- Alamin Hahs, lawyers without borders

"Would make a great movie."
-- Jlynn Evol
If you enjoyed The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri or Bricklane by Monica Ali, you are going to love Bengali Girls Don't!

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Editorial Reviews


"Reads like a waking nightmare in places and reminded me very much of Sylvia Plath's poem Purdah - - a woman raging and hurting because she has been trapped by others into their shadow, never allowed to breathe and just be herself. Her autobiography is going to stay with me, I'm sure."
-- G.R. Yeates, author of Dawn Fades

"Amazing and inspiring story of a lovely woman who was able to triumph over adversity. In spite of the odds and even her own family turned against her Luky (pronounced Lucky) fought back for what she thought was rightfully hers. Her freedom."
-- L.A. Jones, author of Tales of Aradia The Last Witch

From the Author

"I hate my life! I hate this culture. I can't go anywhere. Or do any damn thing. I hate it so freaking much!!"
 -- L.A. Sherman, when talking to her mother as a teen. 
"Almost every Bengali girl must have said this - - I'm one of them! L.A. really gave a true insight into a Bengali girl's life - - amazing xXx"
 -- Shuhena Mikail Begum, a Bengali-Muslim girl in Sweden

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and Inspirational!!! July 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased the downloadable version of this book and could not put my laptop down. I like to read stories about real people and their lives, not just the rich and famous. This book is just that. It is a riveting and inspirational story about the author told in a clever 3rd person.

The first chapter will have you hooked right away with Luky's parents' triumphant flight for life. There are moments in the book I found myself laughing out loud, such as a moment spent in the closet of a family friend peeping at some...let's just say books. There were other times I felt frustrated for her, especially in the treatment she receives from one of her brothers.

You will be touched at Luky's search for happiness and a way out of the oppressive lifestyle and culture of her family. She has included several great photographs of her life in the end as well. The images of her first/forced marriage are hauntingly poignant.

I am familiar with Arabic/Islamic terms, but for those that are not, the times it is necessary for them to be used, she has translated them expertly within the text without taking away from the story (there is also a Glossary in the back).

You will feel Luky's angst and longing to be able to be free to live the life she wants and her ups and downs, then finally her happiness. This is definitely worth the buy and time and I strongly recommend this book!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Snob Recomends March 4, 2012
By Pavarti
Format:Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

LA Sherman's Bengali Girl's Don't is one of the best books I've read this year. It's beautiful, lyrical and full of fantastic insight into the experience of Muslim children raised in Western societies. Sherman's writing is full of depth and beauty, pulling us into the world of the main character: Luky. I am reminded of What the Body Remembers: A Novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin for it's raw intimacy and multi-generational/cultural storyline.

Bengali Girl's Don't is written in third person memoir style and the first half of it is exquisite, full of details from Bangladeshi life that resonate with the reader no matter your personal cultural history. Rahman and Sunia (Luky's parents) live through the revolution and partition of Bengladesh from Pakistan. The personal and political details included in the story make it rich and vibrant. An absolute joy to read.

Rahman and Sunia take their sons (I'm not sure how many, as one of them inexplicably seemed to have two names: Pilton and Saqir) and daughter to England, where Sunia gives birth to a number of daughters. Rahman and Sunia try desperately to raise their children as proper Muslims and Bengalis In their own way it's clear their intentions are good and they wish good things for their children. Cultural standards, aspirations for popularity and the crushing pressure of being the eldest daughter push Luky to a breaking point. Desperate for freedom and individuality, she seeks a reprieve from her parents strictness and abuse in a series of ill fated romantic entanglements.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read.... will change your perspective October 10, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I read a book.... Any book... I always look for something that will help change people... change people for the better.... You probably guessed that I do not read too many novels... but I do read Novels that have a message..... I have to confess that I do know the Author of this book... whilst we have said hello for over 5 years in passing... I met Luky in a Yoga class and she told me that she has written a book..... I thought... good... I will read the book, I am interested to see what Luky had to share...., I purchased the book and was... actually emotionally stretched... I did not expect what I was reading... after all, I have seen and said hello to this quite, beautiful woman for 5 years... I did not expect read and to be transformed as a human by the all too common life of someone like Luky... Incredible....

Let me explain.... My ex wife is a very beautiful Chinese woman from Viet Nam... much of what Luky related in her book touched so many familiar cords with me...

The bottom line is this.. Luky's story is NOT an unfamiliar story, the mixing of many cultures into one culture... This is our challenge as a world family.... Luky's story re-affirms that we CAN live as ONE...

We need to be open minded... an remember that we are LOVE..... The first part of the book.... As they escaped during the liberation.... Her Father raised her up and said In effect you are the "Icon of our struggle for FREEDOM..."

Interesting... as you read through the book.... Past cultures.... Mixed with Now... and the conflict ensuing ...

I can say that Luky did indeed survive... and is STILL resolving PAST, and FUTURE..... with NOW......

All I can say personally being part of many cultures... LOVE....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forced Into a Marriage She Didn't Want February 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I knew I had to read this book for a variety of reasons. The author lived in the same city where I was born, and is of Asian descent just like myself. Also, a message was relayed in this book that is a very important message....forced marriages are inhumane and cruel. First, I just want to say that Luky is an amazing writer - this book has it all! She has told a necessary story; a story of what is happening in the real world, what has been going on for many years, and is still going on, and she has added her own blend of humor, so this story is not just serious, but also leaves the reader laughing at certain points throughout the book. Secondly, this is a topic that is dear to my heart. Not only was Luky forced into a marriage, which is bad enough in itself, she had a child marriage too, and one thing after another happened to her which no girl should ever have to endure. I was saddened to read about all the pain that was inflicted on her, not only with the forced marriage, but by the beatings that she had to suffer at the hands of her brother, and family. This is a story that has to be told, and I'm so glad that Luky told it. I'm even more glad that she got away, and I wish her every bit of happiness in the new life that she now has.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting
We'll written, but not extra-ordinary. More of a rebel character but without any so called values. People like this normally suffer in life.
Published 2 months ago by indranil Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfful Book
You may not want to publish this in its entirety so read carefully. The librarian at the library where I volunteer one day a week is married to the subject of this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dottie
5.0 out of 5 stars SURVIVAL IN BANGLADESH.
I thought this book was amazing. L.A. Sherman's
ability to overcome a clash of religion and culture while she was a teenager is amazing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by opus100
4.0 out of 5 stars how do we stop such treatment
this book was a contrast to what other Muslim Girls I know tell me. I am an older person and would like to know more about the treatment on young girls. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A different culture explained fairly well.
Not the best written. A bit hard to follow the characters at times but an enjoyable read just the same.
Published 5 months ago by Gene Kill
1.0 out of 5 stars hmmm....
Not for me this back and forth story.... the story may be true but the portrayal of characters left something more to be desired... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Raj
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Great read, I enjoyed learning about the the Bengali culture. The author brought humor to the readers and I loved seeing the family photos at the end of the book, it was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by toniringer
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Disconnected
I'm amazed at the glowing reports this book has received, and I bought it because of the reviews! It is totally disjointed, from the opening to the ending. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Leigh
1.0 out of 5 stars Tragic story, told in a vulgar mannerm
A tale can be told without an expletive in every phrase. Tragic, yes but the protagonist alienated me with execrable prose.
Published 6 months ago by D. Portmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror in India
I loved reading this book as it gave me insight into the life of women in Bengali even those who are raised outside that region and just how much family is a core value. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Deborah Guthrie
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More About the Author

L.A. Sherman grew up in Bradford, England in a strict Muslim family where she learned how to sneak out of the house without making the door creak. At the age of fifteen, she was tricked into going to Bangladesh by her parents and forced to marry a man as old as her father. After four years there with a wicked mother-in-law, she won the visa lottery for America and moved to the Big Apple. Now hard at work on her second book, she lives in Tampa, Florida with her family near a pond full of gators and spends her time doing all the things that Bengali girls don't.


As a side note, I am only the second writer to go by the name L.A. Sherman (that I'm aware of, anyway). The first person was Lucius Adelino Sherman, one of my relatives on my hubby's side. He was born August 28, 1847 in Worcester, Massachusetts and died February 13, 1933 in Lincoln Nebraska.

Believe it or not, Lucius also wrote a book for writers called How to Describe and Narrate Visually: exercises in literary composition, based on principles and examples of the writers art, which can be read for fee online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

One more thing: the first Shermans came to the US - - to Massachusetts - - in the 1630s. And yes, I'm related to General William Tecumseh Sherman, Civil War hero; Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independance; General Sydney Sherman, the first person known to have said, "Remember the Alamo!, and Stuart P. Sherman, the famous writer and critic of Henry Louis Mencken

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