The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

kashmir shawlBlurb from, please scroll down for my review.

Spanning decades and moving from the stark beauty of the Welsh landscape to the Himalayas and Kashmir, this is a story of bravery, courage and love. Within one exotic land lie the secrets of a lifetime! Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time in her life, to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Travelling from lonely Ladakh, high up in the Himalayas, Nerys discovers a new world in the lakeside city of Srinagar. Here, in the exquisite heart of Kashmir, the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war.

But the battles draw ever closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father’s house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, woven from the finest yarns and embroidered in the shades of lake water and mountain skies. Wrapped within its folds is a lock of child’s hair. Tracing her grandparents’ roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.

What a delightful book, so different from the books I have been reading of late, there is mystery, lies, romance, (not too much though before you stop reading), travel, friendship. There is no murder, blood or gore. This is a book for those who are interested in superb writing and a love of northern India.
This is the first book I have read by this author.

The descriptions are just stunning; I was devouring each word written; each sentence is wonderful in describing the northern Indian setting in which the majority of the book takes place. I have visited India in the past, but not this area in particular, but I could see it in my head as I read and once we arrive in India things got even better. There is so much detail in the writing, so many little bits that most authors don´t add in. The characters are so believable and enjoyable. I could smell and feel everything.

The book goes from the past to the present every now and then and each swap in time made me want for the other one until I got into it and then I didn´t want to change again.

The author has done a great job with the investigation of the past in this area of India, the details and descriptions are the best.

This is story telling at its best.


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