A heart-wrenching and beautiful memoir.

In The Second Wife, life handed author Shirin Ariff hardships in the form of disease, abuse, and betrayal. Throughout the struggles, Shirin cultivated her magic power: resilience.

Growing up in a prestigious Indian family, Shirin enjoyed a picturesque childhood.When she grew up, she was expected to marry well, have children, and please her husband till death do them part. Her first marriage cut that timeline short.

Despite being a brilliant man, her husband was plagued by demons in the form of drug addiction. Out of the ashes of their marriage, Shirin was given the most amazing gift: her firstborn daughter, Sabah. However, a beautiful child wasn’t enough to save what had been broken. His addiction led Shirin to learn a monumental life lesson: only you can heal yourself. The marriage ended, leaving Shirin scarred and shell-shocked.

Divorce was not approved of in the Indian culture; if it happened, it was assumed to be the woman’s fault. Shirin felt the judgment and negativity thrust at her and it severely affected her self-worth. With low self-esteem and open questions about the future, Shirin knew she needed to remarry. Her knight in shining armor arrived, but he was hiding a tarnished inner layer. Sahir was an Indian living in Canada and he won Shirin’s heart. Shirin and Sabah got on a plane that would take her to a treacherous next chapter of her life.

In Canada, nothing was as Sahir promised. The mansion he bragged about was actually a small apartment. Sahir was rarely present; he was busy tending to his ex-wife and her family. Shirin began working for Sahir but never receiving payment. Despite receiving three beautiful children from him, Shirin was a slave in her own home, enduring endless verbal and emotional abuse.

Shirin was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy which affected her facial appearance. Then, she was diagnosed with cancer. Nevertheless, out of the darkness grew Shirin’s magic power of resilience. She learned to nourish the love she had for her children into love for herself. 

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