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Kashmir Shawl Paperback – March 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007285973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007285976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Sorting through her parents’ possessions after their deaths, Mair Ellis discovers a Kashmir shawl that once belonged to her Welsh grandmother, Nerys Watkins. Nestled within the folds of this exquisite handwoven piece is an envelope containing a single lock of hair. Curiosity drives Mair to trace the history of the shawl, a quest that takes her from Wales to India. As she pieces together her grandmother’s past, the two women’s stories intertwine, transporting the reader between the Kashmir of WWII and the present day. The bulk of the novel belongs to Nerys, a missionary’s wife whose undemonstrative husband urges her to spend the winter in Srinigar with a friend while he spreads Christianity in remote settlements. Nerys is forever changed in this romantic city, blossoming in an illicit affair while being swept up in the dangerous unraveling of another’s. The consequences resurface nearly seven decades later, leaving Mair with a life-altering decision. 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. --Diane Holcomb --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'A superbly researched and vivid evocation of wartime Kashmir and Ladakh' Daily Mail 'A spellbinding tale. Beautifully written, honest and compassionate...a delight from start to finish' Daily Express 'An epic tale...A complicated entanglement of family secrets, love during wartime and dangerous liaisons. For fans of Maggie O'Farrell' Red 'A superbly written novel, marvellously descriptive and especially evocative of the war years ... a gorgeous treat' Choice 'Thomas' portrayal of a young wife struggling to cope with life in wartime Kashmir, her husband's indifference to her and her attraction to a charismatic mountaineer is beautifully written, touching and believable' The Daily Express

More About the Author

Rosie Thomas is the author of numerous critically acclaimed, bestselling novels. She has won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, for her novels Iris & Ruby and Sunrise. Born in a small village in northern Wales, Thomas discovered a love of traveling and mountaineering when her children were grown. In the years since, she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, competed in the Peking to Paris car rally, trekked in the footsteps of Shackleton on South Georgia Island, and spent time on a tiny Bulgarian research station in Antarctica. To research The Kashmir Shawl, she traveled to Ladakh and Kashmir.

Learn more about Rosie at www.rosiethomasauthor.com.

Customer Reviews

Well written, well drawn characters and a great story line.
Dazzas Girl
Intricately woven story; sensitively romantic; culturally interesting - set in Kashmir but including the culture of the English in India at the time of World War II.
mareeka
This book was a jolly good read that keeps you page turning to the end.
Posie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Posie on March 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a jolly good read that keeps you page turning to the end. I found it quite educational as well as I know nothing of that part of the world. The blend of going from the 1940s to the present day was beautifully done. Highly recommended.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This one took me a while to wade through - and I loved every page.

A sprawling wartime tale of secrets and betrayals and personal growth and more than a little tragedy, it's not light bedtime reading. Most of the time it's not light, period. Both Nerys Watkins and her granddaughter suffer the misfortune of watching close friends live through personal tragedies while dealing with their own difficulties along the way. It's a compelling story, but what really makes the book shine is its character development. All the characters - even the minor ones - are vividly drawn, and by the time it's all over you feel like you know them all very well. The Kashmir locale is portrayed vividly as well, both in the 1940s and today as well as the crucial differences between the two.

If some of the subplots lead to conclusions that are less than plausible, for the most part Thomas avoids fairy-tale endings, even when we would no doubt prefer those for the characters we now know so well. It's worth taking your time to savor all the details.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jules on January 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The test of a good read is, in my opinion, rushing through a boring task (like housework) in order to sit down and read a few chapters. Conversely, one may avoid reading towards the end of a good book, not wanting the story to end. The Kashmir Shawl was such a book.
I've always enjoyed reading about Colonial India and its relationships with neighboring states. I located most of the locations mentioned in the book on a world map, and followed Nerys and Mair's journeys with great interest. This was my first book by this author, and I was impressed with how thoroughly she researches her history. To enjoy a book and actually learn a little bit about history is a great combination. The characters were richly drawn, with the women seemingly stronger than the men. Caroline's and Nerys's romantic affairs were treated with dignity no matter what the outcome, or the reasons behind them. The men were for the most part very stiff, caught up in their own roles of the Raj in that period of history. Then again, the book is more about the women left behind than the military battles of that time. If the final link between the past and present stories was a little implausible, it did allow for the story to finally wind down, with an expected and pleasant ending.
Seven years of employment in a bookstore have taught me that many novels labeled and located in the "romance" section are actually just good historical fiction. I encourage anyone who enjoys a good book, a la Maeve Binchy and Kate Morton (to name a few) to try this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Caza on July 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great story line and it provided a fantastic insight into colonial India, which I loved, but the story progressed a bit too slowly for my liking. It isn't a book I would highly recommend if you are the sort of reader who likes to be engrossed in the story and characters early on, but that is my opinion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin McKay on March 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Kashmir Shawl is a beautifully woven tale. It captured the feel of Colonial India and did a wonderful job of bring to life the characters.

The story begins when Mair Ellis, while helping her siblings clear out their Father's house, finds a beautiful shawl carefully tucked away. Within the folds of the shawl she discovers a lock of hair. The siblings conclude this must have been a memory from the days of their Grandmother, Nerys Watkins and her missionary husband Evan, who were assigned to India. Mair decided to travel in her missionary grandparents foot steps to find the purpose of this carefully preserved treasure.

Thomas does a masterful job of telling the tale of Nerys. As the granddaughter slowly traces the story of the shawl, the reader is able to experience the adventure and romance in the lives of both Narys and Mair.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grandma TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a very great while a book just grabs your attention and refuses to let go - and that is exactly what happened when The Kashmir Shawl: A Novel arrived at my door yesterday morning from author Rosie Thomas' publisher. I was just sitting there on the couch drinking a cup of tea when the doorbell rang and my neighbor handed me this book-shaped package. So, since I was drinking tea I decided to read the first page, and then the second and then just one more . . . . and I forgot about almost everything that I had planned to do yesterday. Yes, I did do the dishes - wash 5, read 3 pages while they dried - and I did play Chefville on Facebook - read 3 pages while the game loads, click 5 times, read 3 more (I've always been good at multitasking). I turned the last page just shy of midnight and I almost can't wait to read it again!

Set in World War II India during the last days of the Raj as well as modern-day Kashmir, The Kashmir Shawl: A Novel is a gem of a book, an epic romance just vaguely reminiscent of The Far Pavilions, full of beautifully drawn word pictures that bring the same sort of sense of surroundings that Kipling does in Kim.

Grandma's $0.02 - This is probably the single best book I've read in several years. Very highly recommended.

PS - There is nothing in here to make you uncomfortable if your teenager picks it up. (Why is it so many "romance" novels these days are little more than pornography?)
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