Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal

Fight Like a Girl is a book about fighting. All the different ways, all the different people, we fight on our way through life.

Trisha is from Trinidad and India and Canada. That is, her family is of Indian origin, but most of them live in Trinidad, apart from her and her mother and aunt, who live in Canada. Kamal writes with beautiful clarity about the confusion of growing up between cultures:

“The lunchtime Desis are actually from India and can spot pretenders immediately, the people who are sort-of-but-not-really. The in-betweens like me with Indian blood but without any of the culture steeped into me.”

Caught up in a time of life when she’s trying to work out who she is and where she’s going, Trisha finds herself embedded in a world of horror. On the way home from dinner one night, before she’s even got her license, Trisha accidentally hits her father with the car and kills him.

But was it really an accident? Did she imagine her mother’s hand on the wheel at the crucial moment, and if not, did she turn it towards or away from him? The memories of that rainy night are hazy, getting hazier still as Trisha spins into a maelstrom of confusion.

As a way through the confusion and heartsickness, Trisha fights. At her local gym, she trains with her Muay Thai team until she’s lean and ready to compete. She’s also exhausted, and taking out all of her internal angst on her opponents in the ring isn’t really making life easier.

When the team is invited to fight in a championship, Trisha feels this is a chance for clarity, for redemption. But will it complicate matters further, and will she be able to control the awful feelings welling up inside her enough to win without being permanently hurt?

Fight Like a Girl is a good, quick read that whizzes you right down into the depths of confusion its protagonist is feeling. You’re there with Trisha, wondering what’s going on, whether she’s going mad, whether she’s been hit on the head one too many times.

If you like psychological thrillers that will make you question the nature of reality all the way through, you’ll enjoy Fight Like a Girl.

Fight Like a Girl was sent to me for review by the publisher. But trust me, I have no qualms about being honest when I don’t like a book, so rest assured that I’ve given this one a fair review.

Fight Like a Girl comes out on the 10th of March 2020, published by Hot Key Books.


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