Book Review of What Keeps Her Awake At Night by Dr Shilpa Singh Dhayal

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What Keeps Her Awake At Night by Dr Shilpa Singh Dhayal

Neelam Sharma,

Writing Style


Women are as resilient as they come, but some secret pains do not let us sleep. We hide them away from others, pretend we are okay and keep suffering. Why? 

From that bad touch of childhood behind closed doors to that name-calling for late marriage in public, from that miscarriage we suffered in silence to that infertility problem that isolated us from the mother’s club coldly, women carry a lot of hidden pain and unspoken predicaments that they deal with secretly.

This book shines a light on seven such less-talked-about emotional ordeals that women grapple with and shares some real insights through deeply personal real-life experiences of the author and other women who faced these emotional crises. 

The book offers simple yet effective and practical advice on how women can deal with their trauma and how talking about their private pain and dilemmas to at least one other person can help them and others in their shoes to heal.

Through candid disclosures, reflections, and many personal stories, the book aims to not only validate the pain of women in these situations but to also help them emerge stronger and feel less alone. The author hopes that the book sparks off an open and honest conversation and helps to normalize discussion around some of these very emotionally difficult topics that touch so many women and too many couples.


I raise up my voice -not so that I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai

Women, for centuries now, have been on the receiving end of unfair treatment from society. Somehow, it seems to have been ingrained in the mindsets across that they have to always be treated akin to second class citizens, been refrained from giving them their due status quo always.

Our title is in review today, What Keeps her awake at night? Dr Shilpa Singh Dhayal, explores those facets of a women’s life which have, for a long time questioned her existence as well as her dignity and self-esteem. It explores the dynamics of modern-day society where being unmarried is a big issue and so are other issues like miscarriages, infertility, family planning, child abuse and so on. Dr Shilpa’s book not only explores these candidly but also tells us more importantly, why it is ok to be living life your way, why it’s not a big deal if you marry late, why adoption is a wholly pliant solution to infertility contrary to the orthodox belief challenging the same on blood lineage grounds and such other issues.

READ: Book Review of The Different Bride by Charu Singh

Giving heartfelt first-person accounts of these whilst discussing these at length, Dr Shilpa has managed to bring light to those societal systems which have been gnawing away at our foundation for ages, parasitically destroying familial and personal lives as well as the emotional being of people at large.

Indeed, it is ok to stay unmarried and also it is equally fine if one decides not to have children early, keeping the biological clock concerns at bay. What is more important to understand here is that each and every person is an equal master of their own choice. If a woman decides to not follow the preset society rules and go by her wishes, planning her life her way, then it should be completely honoured as it remains a matter of her choice and discretion.

Similarly, issues like miscarriage, infertility, are not handled correctly in our society, the point of sensitivity, somehow never being women or their emotional health. True, society might empathize, mourn a certain mishappening, but that’s about it. There is no support, no help whatsoever, in any manner to the woman to overcome the same and get out unscathed from these misfortunes. That, I sincerely feel, is a big setback, a mark of failure as far as our society is concerned.

And it does not stop here. Dr Shilpa has also mused upon and discussed those skeletons of our closet which are surely present but never addressed. Child Abuse. Yes, the one thing which is known by us all but never ever addressed or spoken about for fear of chastisement or being pitied upon. Dr Shilpa manages to bring out each and every negative existing bottleneck present in our system in a manner that is relatable, easy to read and at the same time has been put across powerfully for all to mull upon and decide where our priorities lie and what we actually should be doing.

A very powerful book, addressing sensitive, yet essential, indispensable aspects of our societal systems, in a manner that will resonate with you as it intimidates you.

A well-written piece by Dr Shilpa Singh Dayal. Agree the concepts are such that one might be a tad bit uncomfortable reading and discussing them. But, trust me guys, once you do, not only will the entire society be sorted, so will the world be, as it shall automatically become a better place to be in.

I hope you like the book review of What Keeps Her Awake At Night by Dr Shilpa Singh Dhayal. Do let us know what you think in the comments.

So, this is it from all of us at Booxoul today. Stay safe, stay masked up if you want to help keep others safeguarded too. Keep tuning in for your daily dose of book recommendations, entertainment as well as the most happening in the world of lifestyle and travel.

Ciao People!!

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