Book Review: Dirty Little Secrets


Countries, relationships, and temples form the destiny of this memoir about a woman who’s in search of her identity and is also struggling with blackmail. The total distance from Delhi to Melbourne is 10,213 km and the total distance to travel in search of oneself is limitless. Dirty Little Secrets exactly does that, taking people on a journey of the heart from Melbourne to India and back. A non-linear account of Nandita Chakraborty’s life and this is also the story of a woman who seeks out her own adventure, leaving everything familiar behind.


“My journey is of this beautiful broken mind, the beautiful broken me who rose above her own shadows.”

These words pretty much set up the tone of Nandita’s gutsy journey!

Dirty Little Secrets is not your usual memoir; this is ‘the memoir’. Nandita Chakraborty unpacks her life as a young expat and how she navigates the storms that came in the form of online scamming, love (as she thought it was), complex family relationships, and a fatal accident that changes the course of life forever. Dirty Little Secrets is the real her on display. Each chapter offers a rollercoaster of emotions, from laughter and love to anger, guilt and disbelief. There is a bit of us in these emotional layers, but the courage is 100% of Nandita’s. She holds her heart on her sleeve and has penned it all down for us to read. She mentions her mistakes, failures and learnings with candour and humour —making this memoir a great read of 2022.

Her story is also a sobering reminder of how with a brave heart, anything is possible. One can fall down seven times and stand up eight (in this case, quite literally). In 2011, she had a brush with death while rock climbing, knocking down 40 meters and undergoing a chilling brain injury. One cannot imagine the plight but her willingness to hold herself despite the circumstances is what makes her a warrior. 

I also enjoyed reading about Indian culture and food. Growing up in an Indian household, I resonate with some of the experiences that Chakraborty shares from her childhood. In parts, this book makes us understand what it means to be an immigrant, to be away and get torn between the two worlds. Being the child of South Asian parents can be a hefty load in terms of expectations (also society), and I love reading accounts like this (not enough get published in Australia). 

I wrap up this review by using a beautiful quote from the book: 

“The future belongs to us females. We give birth, nurture, and educate.” 


Dirty Little Secrets was published on 7th February 2022 by Clever Fox Publishing. You can purchase the book here.

TitleDirty Little Secrets
AuthorNandita Chakraborty
PublisherClever Fox Publishing
List Price33.52 AUD

To read our interview with the author Nandita Chakraborty, click here.