*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
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'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