ISBN-10: 0802159451
ISBN-13: 9780802159458
Publisher: Grove Press
Publish Date: 02/15/2022
Dimensions: 8.10" L, 5.50" W, 1.30" H

The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing


Price: $17.00


By the award-winning writer of Beautiful Thing, The Good Girls is a masterly inquest into how the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls shone a light into the darkest corners of a nation.

On a summer night in 2014, Padma and Lalli went missing from Katra Sadatganj, an eye-blink of a village in western Uttar Pradesh. Hours later they were found hanging in the orchard behind their home. Who they were, and what had happened to them, was already less important than what their disappearance meant to the people left behind.

Slipping deftly behind political maneuvering, caste systems and codes of honor in a village in northern India, The Good Girls returns to the scene of their short lives and shameful deaths, and dares to ask: What is the human cost of shame?


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Praise for The Good Girls

New York Times Editors' Choice
Financial Times Best Book of the Week
Marie Claire Best True Crime Book of 2021
A New York Times Book Review Paperback Row Selection
Longlisted for the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non Fiction

"The Good Girls is transfixing; it has the pacing and mood of a whodunit, but no clear reveal; Faleiro does not indict the cruelty or malice of any individual, nor any particular system. She indicts something even more common, and in its own way far more pernicious: a culture of indifference that allowed for the neglect of the girls in life and in death."–Parul Sehgal, New York Times

"A riveting–sometimes astonishing–work of forensic journalism that chronicles the girls' lives as well as the circumstances of their death." Wall Street Journal

"Powerful . . . Her social analysis is enlightening . . . most poignant when it's focused on the girls' unfinished lives." Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The story [Faleiro] weaves in exquisite language is as tragic and ugly as it is engrossing . . . A riveting, terrible tale, one all too common, but Faleiro's gorgeous prose makes it bearable." –New York Times Book Review

"A haunting piece of narrative reporting . . . Essential reading."Sunday Times (UK)

"A beautifully calibrated book, full of suspense to the final pages, urging us to walk into that night and listen." –Guardian (UK)

"[A] gripping, real-life murder mystery... Taut with dramatic tension, The Good Girls vividly captures the sights, sounds, smells, preoccupations and oppressiveness of the village... [and] effectively captures the circus-like atmosphere that typically follows heinous crimes in India... Faleiro writes sensitively about her subjects' actions and motivations." –Financial Times

"[A] compulsively readable, highly impressive work of reportage... The Good Girls is excellent, deeply felt nonfiction." –Shelf Awareness

"A modern-day Rashomon that offers multiple views of the widely publicized deaths of two young women in rural India...A gripping story." –Kirkus Reviews

"Powerful account... In incisive prose, Faleiro...examines India's family honor system and the grueling lives of lower caste women. True crime buffs will be fascinated." –Publishers Weekly

"In this true story of the mysterious death of two girls, Sonia Faleiro confronts us with what it means to be young, poor, powerless and most importantly, female, in much of today's India. Despite its calm, measured tone, or more likely, because of it, The Good Girls left me shattered."Abhijit Banerjee, Nobel Prize winner

"The Good Girls is an insightful work of reportage that highlights how gender intersects with class and caste in Indian society. It's a page-turner, a feminist text, and an essential read that is deeply empathetic toward its two main subjects who no longer have a voice."–Deepa Anappara

"An extraordinary book studded with insights into media, justice, corruption, and the rules governing women's lives. Padma and Lalli–harvesting mint, enchanted by a play, seeking freedom, wishing to be something–will stay powerfully with me." –Megha Majumdar

"A compulsively readable whodunit, as fast-moving as a mystery novel, and at a whole deeper level offers profound observations about caste and sexuality in rural India." –Barbara Demick

"Chilling and devastating, The Good Girls is narrative reportage at its very best" Fatima Bhutto

Praise for Beautiful Thing

Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year
Time Out Subcontinental Book of the Year
Best Book of the Year by Economist, NPR, Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus, CNN Mumbai, and Observer

"With a few strokes, Faleiro conjures a world. "Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"A knockout. Unsparing, unsentimental and wickedly funny." –Parul Sehgal, NPR

"Gritty, gripping and often heartbreaking–an impressive piece of narrative non-fiction." –Kirkus, starred review

"A tour de force of reportage, whose depth, insight and resonance make it the equal of the best fiction" Sunday Times

"Excellent, painstaking and often painful" –The San Francisco Chronicle

"Faleiro brings a novelist's eye for detail and a depth of empathy to her work. A magnificent book of reportage that is also endowed with all the terror and beauty of art." –Kiran Desai

"Does what every good piece of reportage ought to: took me to a place I couldn't have gone by myself" –Hari Kunzru

"A small masterpiece of observation" –William Dalrymple

"A tour de force of heartrending reportage" Independent

"It is useless to describe the pathos and singular power of this book" Spectator

"So compelling that it invites from us the question of exactly what might constitute genius in non-fiction" The National

'"Brilliant" Guardian

"A moving testament" Literary Review

"Astonishing, gripping, immersive" Time Out

"Excellent" The Telegraph UK

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 0802159451
ISBN-13: 9780802159458
Publisher: Grove Press
Publish Date: 02/15/2022
Dimensions: 8.10" L, 5.50" W, 1.30" H
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