The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas The Overlook Press ISBN 978-1-4683-022-2

The Kashmir Shawl, written by Rosie Thomas, opens with Mair Ellis and her siblings going through their deceased father’s home in present day North Wales. The discovery of an exquisite Indian made shawl and an envelope containing a lock of hair ignites Mair’s curiosity to uncover their history. How had they become part of her father’s possessions? Nerys Watkins, Mair’s grandmother, died before Mair was born. Nerys and her husband, Evan, had served as missionaries in India in the 1940’s and Mair travels to India to learn what she can about their time there and, hopefully, the history of the shawl and the lock of hair.
The story is told both in the present and the past, gracefully alternating between the voices of Mair and Nerys. While Mair tries to reconstruct Nerys’s time in Srinigar the author gives the reader the treat of reading Nerys’s accounting of her life. Even though Mair and Nerys share commonalities, they remain two distinctly different personalities. Each grapples with their own issues. I felt that the more Mair learned about Nerys, the more she began to understand herself.
I found this to be a story worth telling. The author skillfully interweaves many different stories all the while captivating the reader. Life is given to a diverse group of interesting characters. History, mystery, great loves and losses as well as a carefully constructed story are the characteristics of this novel. I find myself hoping for a sequel. This is a memorable book and I recommend reading it.
I received this book free of charge from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. and the opinions expressed are my own.


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