The Kashmir Shawl

The Kashmir Shawl

Book - 2013
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For more than three decades, Rosie Thomas has enthralled readers around the world. Now, in The Kashmir Shawl, her most ambitious book yet, Thomas sweeps through time and place, and her readers will discover in this novel a captivating, romantic epic--an irresistible story of enduring love and memory.It is the eve of 1941 and World War II is engulfing the globe. Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Britain to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India, but when he leaves her in the exotic lakeside of Srinagar to take on a complicated mission elsewhere, she discovers a new world. Here, in the heart of Kashmir, the British dance, flirt, and gossip against the backdrop of war and Nerys soon becomes caught up in a dangerous liaison. By the time she is reunited with her husband, she is a very different woman. .Years later, Nery's granddaughter Mair Ellis clears out her dead father's house and finds an exquisite shawl--a kaleidoscope of silvery blues and greens. Wrapped in the folds of this delicate object is a lock of a child's curly hair. With nothing else to go on, Mair decides to trace her roots back to Kashmir, embarking on a quest that will change her own life forever. .In this marvelous novel by a writer whose novels Marie-Claire called "beautifully written" and "a treat," the inimitable Rosie Thomas is at her very best. A sweeping, multigenerational tale of marriage and isolation, The Kashmir Shawl is a tribute to the power of finding love in the most magical, unexpected places.REVIEWS:"Mystery, intrigue, a great love, passion, and a terrible sorrow all come together to make this a very touching and satisfying read." --Barbara Taylor Bradford, bestselling author of Letter from a Stranger"A master storyteller." --Cosmopolitan"Rosie Thomas has the rare and wonderful ability to create stories and characters that take you instantly into another world--one you are most reluctant to leave until you have reached the end." --Penny Vincenzi, bestselling author of No Angel"Thomas writes with a sharp nib, not a dull computer key. She is neither mawkish nor squeamish, but full of fresh images." --Washington Post Book World"Thomas brings India to glorious life in this utterly engrossing and beautifully written epic novel, a best seller in Britain. She moves the story from past to present with ease, never allowing one story line to overwhelm another. Her characters are so interesting and realistic that readers will be reluctant to let them go. Fans of Joanna Trollope and Mary Wesley will enjoy this moving work." --Library Journal (starred review)"A finely wrought story of emotional and geographical displacement . . . The atmospheric detail brings the culture and gorgeous scenery of Kashmir to vivid life while also hinting at the political and religious strife that will soon overcome the region as India gains its independence." --Kirkus Reviews"Thomas weaves a love mystery in her latest work heavy on rich characters and scenery . . . [A] compelling scandalous tale in 1940s India, set against the dynamic backdrop of Kashmir." --Publishers Weekly."An avid traveler and thorough researcher, Thomas brings the flavors and colors of India to life with vivid detail and develops characters so real one feels a kinship. An engrossing, intelligent, and satisfying read, this publication is the American debut of a UK best-seller." --Booklist"A gorgeous treat . . . Superbly written, marvelously descriptive and especially evocative of the war years." --Choice"Rosie Thomas writes with beautiful, effortless prose, and shows a rare compassion and a real understanding of the nature of love." --The Times"Spellbinding . . . Honest and compassionate, [Thomas's] books are a delight from start to finish." --Daily Express
Publisher: New York : Overlook Press, 2013, c2011
ISBN: 9781468302462
Branch Call Number: THOMAS
Characteristics: 468 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 06, 2014

A full step above a beach read, this story of multi-cultural love during WW II raises serious issues. Nerys' grandchildren must go through her things after their grandfather dies, finding an exquisite, worn, Indian shawl, and a baby's curl. Only Mair among the grandchildren feels a need to pursue the grandmother she didn't know, and goes to Kashmir. Not realizing the area's in the midst of tribal warfare, she finds herself caught between that and the beautiful, exotic setting Nerys wrote of in her journal decades before. She meets people who knew her grandmother, and a charismatic young Western couple on their way to Srinagar, whose delightful toddler dies of the bite of a rabid dog. Mair learns that her grandparents' marriage wasn't aways happy, as his vocation made him feel guilty about their love. He left her alone for months on end, while seeking converts. Nerys is befriended by an enigmatic man, not in uniform and therefore suspect. They fall in love, though unspoken. He helps get a pregnant woman out of India, promising to return for Nerys, but never comes. Her husband returns for her, more than a year late, and after the war, they return to Wales, where they finally have their only child. The setting is of course exotic, evoked beautifully; the Indians are sympathetically portrayed against the backdrop of the stiff WW II Brits, and, yes, there are romances, in both parts of the parallel stories. I greatly enjoyed it, though it was a bit difficult to keep the various plot threads from unraveling in my head at times.

Jan 22, 2014

Loved it. One of the best reads I've had in month. Makes me want to go to Kashmir.

mrsgail5756 Sep 30, 2013

A very interesting book. I would recommend for all to read.

2003dora17 Dec 26, 2012

A beautiful story set in Kashmir at the height of the British Raj.

Aug 19, 2012

Romance Novel Association 2012 Winner of the Epic category

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the look into Kashmir in 1942 and the making of the shawls. A great summer read.

msingh Apr 20, 2012

I loved this book, I have never been to Kashmir but reading this book I felt I have seen kashmir.

Apr 06, 2012

My mother loved this book but I did not find it as engaging and it was also a bit predictable. Not to me as good as her usual efforts.

Junglequeen Oct 05, 2011

A nice read. I had to read to the end to find out what happened so did not get much sleep!

It is two parallel stories, a grandmother's and a granddaughter's. Nerys was a newly married young woman who went out to India with her missionary husband. Mair the granddaughter,decades later, discovers an exquisite shawl and a lock of child's hair tucked inside it hidden in back of a drawer of an old dresser in her late father's house. Mair decided to go to India to trace her grandparent's roots and find out the secrets and mystery surrounding her grandparents.

It also includes a fascinating history of the handmade shawl making industry.


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