From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hardy (The Wonder House
) draws on her 12-year relationship with the Dar family to recount the story of modern-day Kashmir—part pastoral idyll, part war zone. Hardy writes, There is no single casualty of war, no one noun that sums up what has been lost, and she paints a moving portrait of the ravaged communities and landscape, weaving in analysis of how the political machinations of Pakistan and India have quelled or intensified the conflict. She contrasts the sleepy valley she encountered decades ago to the Dar family's Kashmir, which has witnessed the 1989 uprisings and strikes, martial law, deadly encounter killings, mass migrations of Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus), increasing religious orthodoxy and the widespread disruption of education, health care, economic prosperity and family and social life. Hardy's deep familiarity with the region—she has reported on the Kashmir conflict for close to 20 years—allows her to present complicated and conflicting points of view from reformed jihadists, Indian generals, Pandit refugees and various members of the Dar family. Her reporting is admirable and gilded by lyrical prose and evocative description. (June)
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About the Author
Justine Hardy currently writes for The Financial Times. She is the author of The Ochre Border, Scoop-Wallah, Goat, Bollywood Boy, and The Wonder House. She divides her time between London and Kashmir.