Get Your Free Audiobook

The Forest of Enchantments

Narrated by: Suchitra Pillai
Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Publisher's Summary

The Ramayana, one of the world's greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita's version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women's struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, 'Enough!'

©2019 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Forest of Enchantments

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mesmerising narration for an okay story

Suchitra Pillai has one of the most riveting voices and she absolutely arrests your attention for the duration of her narration. Aiding her is pretty good writing by the writer Chitra Banerjee. There are occasional uses of words that make you scurry to a dictionary, but the story is presented clearly and as beautiful as it could get. However, there is absolutely nothing exemplary about this book. It's the exact same tale that we have been hearing about from ages, excepted that it is narrated by Sita. In the beginning, you are promised the sides of Kaikeye, Urmila and even Sunaina. However, the only single narration you hear is that of Sita and her absolutely ludicrous ideas about love. At some point, the book feels like a justification for Ram's actions and you even begin to feel irritated with Sita. Her character arc gets extremely confusing. From a girl who has been raised with absolute independence, to someone who longs to keep going back to her husband despite his (justified-in-the-story) mistreatment - it becomes difficult to conjure what is happening. It is only Suchitra Pillai's wonderful narration that keeps you trudging ahead. To be fair, I don't think the writer could have done a lot of difference. There is a tale that is etched into every Indian's conscience since his/her childhood and the writer seems wary of even slightly challenging that. That is honestly what I was expecting. We never knew what Sita was undergoing while Ram was preparing against Ravan or when she was banished forever, since the telling has always been from Ram's point of view. This book does touch upon it, but there isn't a substantial part of that. That is one more disappointment from this book. I would suggest that you purchase this audio book only if you want to hear Suchitra Pillai's brilliant narration of a good writing by Chitra Banerjee, but don't expect anything different here.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fabulous

loved it, the story captures all the aspects of Sita's life. really amazing. i liked

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Different perspective to Ramayan

i have read Devedutt Patnaik Ramayan, but that had hardly anything on Sita. this one actually is dedicated to her end to end. Since it's a different perspective from Sita POV, often ignored by popular narrators. even great people have to go through their bit of hardship to attain greatness. sita embodied a lot of things into one - queen, goddess, wife, friend, mother.... and some roles are often conflicting with other. how Sita overcomes the tragedies that life put her through again and again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Loved the narration rich with emotion

I am glad I heard it on Audible because the narration by Suchitra Pillai added a fascinating richness to the story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good attempt

Despite knowing the story already, this retelling of Ramayan from Sita's point of view (hence Sitayan) engages the reader/listener. Chitra Banerjee did a good job depicting what Sita must have gone through. The only part I did not enjoy is the reference to Sita possibly being Ravan's daughter. I never appreciated this dimension of Ramayana which was not a part of the original epic either.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thank You Chitra Banerjee

I absolutely loved the book, after reading "The Palace of Illusions" which was too good , I wasn't expecting much from this but I was definitely proved wrong. It was the ending that did it for me , her speech before she leaves her mortal body. The narrator did a commendable job too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very interesting

Everyone should listen this book.it gives new perspective on Ramayana or should I say sitaayana

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating Sitayan

I am really happy that I decided to listen to this book. It has so many stories which unfurl and compels you to think what a great lady Sita was. Great buy! Amita Mishra

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too long and tedious

Chitra, generally a gifted writer, has made this one far too long, taking away from the beautiful bits that otherwise would have stood out! :(

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it ☺️ Sitayana we should all know

loved the book.. was glued to it.. never before we may have heard this version of the epic.. the version by sita.. the Sitayana..

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-20

The women's view

I've always been sceptical about the ramayan as I felt the stories of the women were lost in the justification of the actions of the men. The good deeds of "villains" were silence to maximise the righteousness of the "heroes". I've always loved Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni as she has a unique way of retelling a story. I felt all the emotion I felt were missing perfectly portrait.