Get Your Free Audiobook

1 credit a month to use on any title to download and keep
Listen to anything from the Plus Catalogue—thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks
Download titles to your library and listen offline
Limited time offer: 2 months free trial
The Forest of Enchantments cover art

The Forest of Enchantments

Written by: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Narrated by: Suchitra Pillai
Free with trial

₹199 per month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for ₹483.00

Buy Now for ₹483.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice.

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
    302
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    293
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    261
  • 4 Stars
    75
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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.

4 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.

2 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
    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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful

Men have done a lot of damage to our society, guess it’s time to worship Devi again and this book screams the facts of a life of woman which she goes through all alone… they deserve to be heard and respected .

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

Superb book

One of chitra’s great works. A story that really represents feminism the way it should be.

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

Sita’s story still relevant!

I recommend this book for everyone to read! So much to learn from her virtuous life!

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

What an experience!

Absolutely stunning rendition of the Ramayana. From the story to Suchitra Pillai’s voiceover - I felt like I was living the tale in person. Will recommend to everyone!

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

Most beautiful....

This story is very beautiful. It is heart-wrenching but enthralling at the same time. beautifully written and even more beautifully rendered. It is a joy to listen to and even more beautiful than the Palace of illusions by the same author. There are movements of joy as well as heart-rendering sorrow. For anyone who understands the Ramayan, this book especially the last few chapters will leave you in tears because the story of Sita, is so beautiful yet tragic, and in some way is also the story of many women who live in this adjust and cruel society

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

Greatest epic retold taking Sita in centre

53/80
The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
One of the greatest epics of the world, retold by the author but taking Sita as the center character. Ramayana, a story about good vs evil is also a tragic love story. Most of our books or animation for children cover till Lord Rama gets victory over Ravana. But the second part of the story is not as happy as we can think of. Lord Rama banished Sita as people in his reign start doubting her chastity and love for Rama.
The author tried to depict this story by taking Sita at the center and tried to retell the story as close to real epic as possible. She has to twist some facts, I guess. 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, and Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity, and honor, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men.

The author transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. How much a woman should endure and when should say that it’s enough. What does the word endures even mean? It didn’t mean giving in. It didn’t mean being weak or accepting injustice. It meant taking the challenges thrown at us and dealing with them as intelligently as we knew until we grew stronger than them.

I would recommend, that we shouldn't go into the book thinking we might learn something new about the epic, but rather go with an open mind. The book will teach you to see the world through a women's eyes and maybe give you a slight understanding of the whirlwind of emotions and injustices that we go through in a lifetime and beyond.

Best quotes and lines:

• “I don’t agree with you that the private life must be sacrificed for the public one. And that is the final advice that I leave for my children: my dearest boys, balance duty with love. Trust me, it can be done.”

• “Motherhood taught me something new about love. It was the one relationship where you gave everything you had and then wished you had more to give.”

• “Perhaps that was why I had to endure pain—because true transformation can only happen in the crucible of suffering”

• “But where love and sorrow bind people together, goodbyes are not so easily said. We were about to discover that.”

• “Love was full of contradictions. Sometimes the person you loved weakened you and sometimes he or she made you a stronger person.”

• “Because a trained mind is your strongest ally—and an untrained one your worst enemy.”


My Rating-3.5/5

Until next Read, Happy Reading!!!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Anonymous User
  • 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.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for May
  • May
  • 30-11-20

Epic retelling of Ramayana

I felt transported into a magical world...the characters are brought to life, their emotions human and relatable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Love audio
  • Love audio
  • 29-10-20

The Forest of Enchantment

I would recommend this for reads of all walks of life as it has great teachings for struggles and stuffing that one endures for the greater good.

I’ve added this tittle to my favourites🥰🤗