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Publisher's Summary

In this captivating debut story, a young woman in India about to plunge into an arranged marriage seeks the advice of an older friend - an eccentric expat who has led an unconventional life.

In a quiet suburb of New Delhi, two next-door neighbors develop a friendship: one, a young woman engaged to be married, and the other, Nadine: a woman in her 60s living with her second husband. We follow these two women through their phone calls and visits together, diving deeper into Nadine's storied past: With her larger-than-life personality and proclivity to defy society's conventions, her insight weighs heavily on her young friend, about to face a major turning point of her own. 

Nadine is a poignant short story about the choices, big and small, that shape our lives.

©2021 Vimi Bajaj (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Vimi Bajaj is a writer based in Chicago. Her short story "Gauri and the Night-watchman" was shortlisted for The Bristol Short Story Prize in 2016 and published in their anthology. Her work has also been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, The Asian American Literary Review, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, and Panorama: the Journal of Intelligent Travel. She has an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars.

About the Performer

Actor and voice artist Tania Rodrigues has narrated many audiobooks, both fiction and non-fiction, by a range of illustrious and award-winning authors including Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, David Mitchell, Jeanette Winterson CBE, Tahmima Anam, and Sita Bhramachari. Her stage appearances include playing Emerald in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and her many screen appearances include Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Rev, Doctors, Eastenders, and more.

What listeners say about Nadine

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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True feminist. I think

I’m giving this short story five stars not because I liked it -I didn’t, but because it made me think a lot. I call myself a feminist and yet I’m not able to stop judging Nadine, and my judgment is based on the traditional values women like Nadine are trying to change. So, in other words, this short story has really challenged they way I think about myself and about what it means to be a feminist

13 people found this helpful

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A glimpse of women's choices

We never know when someone will show up, share their life stories or secrets with us, change our perspective of something. I believe this short story reveals how these moments come and how it shapes one's believes little by little.

Not only that, it gives a glimpse of women (Nadine) who own the beliefs which are not quite the same as many women's think in the family life or themselves. In the story, Nadine's talk may lead her to critics from society, but with these worried and uncomfortable feelings, she still chooses to share thoughts to helping her much younger friend to make important choices in her life. This is a very important topic and still lots to talk about it even in 2021. I thank the author Vimi Bajaj who wrote this story and she did a good job.

(I'm not a native in the language of English, please ignore my grammar if it's not correct. )

9 people found this helpful

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A Portait in the Form of a Story

This story reminds me of Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess." Nadine reveals herself in a self-revelatory flood of words, just as the Duke does in Browning's poem. Love her or hate her, it's beside the point. The vitality of the portait is the triumph of the work.

8 people found this helpful

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disappointing

Ramblings of selfish older woman dumped on younger woman. The more I learned about Nadine, the less I liked her. This book was not worth my time. I was hoping there would be some more focus on the woman into the thought process of a woman headed into arranged marriage. How would she overcome her fear about marrying a stranger? How would she know he was the one? I never got to know whether marriage happened or not. That was very annoying.

8 people found this helpful

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A cautionary tale

I admired Nadine. She owned her past, and made no excuses for her difficult life choices. Rather than drown in despair, she escaped, and took (in Roger) a lifeline with her. She offered her life story as a cautionary tale to the prospective bride. Nadine reminds us of the constraints imposed on women, and the high price they pay for attempting to escape those limitations. Sadly, it is not men who govern and enforce those gendered boundaries, but other women.



2 people found this helpful

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It’s what’s not said, that paints a powerful picture

I really liked this short story. The writing was very realistic, so much in fact the eponymous character seemed to irritate other readers. But if you listen to what the character Nadine is trying to express through the telling of a pivotal time in her life story, you will hear more than the specifics of her own situation. Instead a picture of personal female revolution begins to emerge- not overt, but intimate, and uncomfortably juxtaposed to beliefs we have about proper conduct as people, women, and mothers in society.
This story is daring in its attempt to give voice to the minority, and to attempt to show how real change is happening still. Readers may find themselves reflecting on their own lives as they listen to Nadine’s perceptive musings on women, and what it means to live for one’s self.

2 people found this helpful

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Too short and weak follow through

I was able to get a vague idea of the authors thoughts but it needs work and certainly wasn’t long enough . Could have been a whole book or two.

2 people found this helpful

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Like a New Yorker story

This fiction is direct and compelling due to narration and detail. Reminds me of My Dinner with Andre in the monologue for dialogue story way. So short! Wish there was more.

1 person found this helpful

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Motherhood or not...

Whether a champion of Nadine or appalled by her decisions, addressing the fact that not everyone thinks alike and most only follow norms (whether happy or not) is good to think about. Especially important in this case to discuss with those making the big life decisions... kids, marriage, etc.

1 person found this helpful

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worth the listen

I feel I learned something important by hearing this though I can't be specific as to what that is. perhaps I can sum it up by saying that I feel more open minded than before.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kim
  • 01-17-22

I can’t work it out - I like it but I don’t know why it’s so charming

I can’t work out whether I thought this was very good and fresh or if it’s just that it didn’t take too much time and I therefore found it breezy.
I can’t fathom much of an actual plot to this novella, but somehow it doesn’t matter? It’s like just being nosey and listening in on people which I think is the main point. However I don’t think this tallies much with the blurb. There’s so little *point* to it. It just is. And that’s oddly charming. It’s necessary discussion framed as perfectly normal yet outlandish at the same time. To add to this, it’s a narrative entirely by women, written by a woman. That’s so oddly rare in literature still.

It ends very abruptly and I found it almost jarring because I was just waiting for more of Nadine’s insights into patriarchal oppressive standards and suddenly it was “audible hopes you enjoyed” - it left me wanting more, which I suppose is the mark of an excellent storyteller.

I would say that anyone who wants to broaden their literary horizons should give it a go - if you don’t like it, it’s only an hour. And if nothing else, it’s refreshing to read/hear something from a first time author, for comparison along the lines should they release more. And since the author is a woman of colour, I do hope that audible making this available for free, her name is put out there more and she is encouraged to write more. Her use of language and literary techniques is wonderful! And the fact that I’m still somewhat mystified by the appeal of this novella is very intriguing to me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rooty tooty
  • 01-14-22

Interesting story line that finished abruptly

I was intrigued by both characters. The modern young Indian girl who is about to be married to a man her family have deemed suitable and who she seems to think is nice. She befriends an older woman-Nadine- who is an expat with an interesting life story.
The character of Nadine is more deeply drawn. I would have liked to understand the relationship between them better. Everything was in Nadine’s terms. It is a warning story about not fulfilling family expectations but living your individual life. However I would have loved to unpick Nadine’s a bit more. It stopped too soon. Was it a taster for a full length novel in the future?

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  • AmzonCustard
  • 12-31-21

An elegant story

Framed in an interesting way and flows beautifully. Controversial topics and personal justifications of one life.

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  • Larry
  • 09-26-21

loved it

I loved this short story . The 2 main characters, in particular Nadine, were well thought through and beautifully.