This work is a gendered reading of Sahgal as a writer of fiction and looks at events in post-
Independence India from a gendered perspective.
As a tangent, it has also discussed the reliability of fiction as a source material for history.
The debate and dichotomy between fiction and history are an important part of the book
also. Through its attention to the detail of minor events, Sahgal's way of writing was better at
highlighting the social aspects than the greater moments of history.
It is essentially a picture of India and the many faces of India through not only its women but also
through the relationship shared between men and women and the societies in which they lived in.
Be it religion or politics, these men and women had something to say. They critiqued it, compared
it, compromised, and negotiated with the changes that were affecting their beliefs from one political
scenario and ideology to another. Through them we see a country emerge from a country in shackles
to a country fighting its restraints and prejudices and accepted notions and ideologies to make itself
felt in the outside world. It had its fair share of problems inside too, and the many characters created
by Sahgal wade through it, sifting the best in India to emerge with an identity.
There are larger forces at work and Sahgal's world is a country in transition and her characters probe
India. There are questions of morality, faith, gods, attitudes, ambitions, hopes, and also despairs.