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Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas
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Kashmir Shawl (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Rosie Thomas

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1811965,444 (3.85)10
Member:alekee
Title:Kashmir Shawl
Authors:Rosie Thomas
Info:Harper (2012), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A beautifully written book about family life intricacies in small villages in Kashmir and includes some realistic close relationships between women and men, lovely appreciative descriptions of the countryside and the hardship.
  Annabel1954 | Jul 26, 2014 |
love books that take place in india! good read, but a few too many boring details. ( )
  amanaceerdh | Feb 18, 2014 |
Mair, her brother, Dylan, and sister, Eirlys , had lost their mother years ago, but when their father passed away, it was time to let go. The house they had grown up in was to be sold, and all their possessions needed to be distributed. Eirlys and Dylan had a more traditional life, married, children, but Mair’s was a bit more adventurous, even joining the circus for a bit. Because of Mair’s single lifestyle, they decided that a delicate shawl, a photograph and a lock of hair should go to Mair, but no one knew how they came to be.

Having no one with any family knowledge she could ask, Mair decided to go to India and research what she could.

Years earlier, in the years of World War II, a woman named Nerys married a missionary man, Evan, and moved to India. Not regretting her decision, she found what a different and difficult lifestyle it was. She did make a few close friends and their life and adventures are what you will read about.

Mair discovers that Nerys was her grandmother and found a few people she could talk to and learn more her grandmother, about the shawl and the photograph.

The majority of the story is written through the life of Nerys, but in between the life of Mairs will have it’s part. This is not a short story, this is an in-depth and detailed novel, along the lines of Gone With the Wind. You will read all about the characters in the story and their families and friends, relating to each one along the way. You will read in great detail all about where they traveled. The beautiful landscape of India, the poverty, the people, their hard work ethics and traditional family values, the difficulty in traveling with the winter snows. The characters will show you what love, friendship and trust mean. The story will show you one woman’s quest to find the family history of what her grandmother’s life was like. Very easy to follow, but very detailed, although I don’t think the story would have the same effect if the details were omitted. ( )
  sewolf0310 | May 30, 2013 |
This is a story of a grandmother and a granddaughter who travel the same roads, but in different time period. Mair finds a shawl made of kashmir, and a lock of hair, in her fathers belongings after he passes away. Curiosity grabs a hold of Mair causing her search back to where it came from. She knows that her grandparents were Welsh missionaries in India before and during World War II, so she packs up and sets out for India.

The beginning of this book is a bit misguided. I am not sure what the author wants me to think, since there was an abundance of descriptive words. Eventually the author changed the writing style and I found it flowed much easier.

The book begins to move back and forth between Mair and her grandmother, Nerys. Nerys experiencing and living the life as a privileged wife in the British Raj. Once the author starts writing about India, you are taken on a ride that will overwhelm all five senses. Each descriptive word helps you to understand how everything must have smelled, tasted, sounded, and felt like.

It wasn't until the author made the connection between grandmother and granddaughter, that I found myself completely interested in the book. Up until this point, I didn't dislike or like the book, I was basically neutral about it.

I loved how the author was able to interweave the stories to all come together almost as one. There was a great sense of adventure and romance in both lives of Nerys and Mair. Overall I would give this book a 4/5. I neglected one point for the confusion and jumble in the beginning of the book that originally made it hard to get into the book. ( )
  lizasarusrex | Apr 23, 2013 |
A lifetime of secrets woven into the finest of silks. Newlyweds Nerys and Evan Watkins leave Wales behind them to take up a missionary posting in India, in the 1930s. In the Kashmir lakeside town of Srinagar -- home to the British, rosewood houseboats and the Club -- Nerys gets caught up in a world of dancing and gossip, which is a million miles from her life as a preacher's wife. With her husband away on mission work in the snow-capped Himalayas, she is inexorably drawn to the enigmatic German mountaineer, Rainer Stamm. As the beating drums of war draw nearer, the women who are left behind in Srinagar form an extraordinary bond. But by the time the men return life has changed beyond measure for all of them. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father's house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl. Wrapped within it is a lock of child's hair. Tracing her grandparents' roots back to India and Kashmir, Mair attempts to unlock the secrets of the past -- a journey that will change her life forever.

My Thoughts:

I can see that there are a lot of positive reviews with this book, but for me it just didn’t work. I can’t put my finger on exactley what it was.

I did find the book rather flat. I couldn’t feel any emotion from the characters and felt they were like cardboard cut outs. I was enjoying for a while the story of Nerys and would have liked to have felt her emotions if her story ws told in the first person rather than the third. Mair’s tale I wasn’t bothered about at all.

I felt at times that the book was too descriptive and felt I was reading a guide to India.I felt the story was turning predictable and as I haven’t actually finished the book as I have given up I am guessing what the outcome would have been. When I go to book group next week then I suspect my predictions may have been correct. At the moment there isn’t enough for me to pick up the book so it remains unfinished. ( )
1 vote tina1969 | Apr 21, 2013 |
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Book description
Spanning decades and moving from the stark beauty of the Welsh landscape to the Himalayas and Kashmir, this is a story of bravery, courage and love. Within one exotic land lie the secrets of a lifetime! Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time in her life, to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Travelling from lonely Ladakh, high up in the Himalayas, Nerys discovers a new world in the lakeside city of Srinagar. Here, in the exquisite heart of Kashmir, the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war. But the battles draw ever closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father's house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, woven from the finest yarns and embroidered in the shades of lake water and mountain skies. Wrapped within its folds is a lock of child's hair. Tracing her grandparents' roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007285965, Paperback)

Spanning decades and moving from the stark beauty of the Welsh landscape to the Himalayas and Kashmir, this is a story of bravery, courage and love. Within one exotic land lie the secrets of a lifetime! Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time in her life, to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Travelling from lonely Ladakh, high up in the Himalayas, Nerys discovers a new world in the lakeside city of Srinagar. Here, in the exquisite heart of Kashmir, the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war. But the battles draw ever closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father's house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, woven from the finest yarns and embroidered in the shades of lake water and mountain skies. Wrapped within its folds is a lock of child's hair. Tracing her grandparents' roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Spanning decades and moving from the stark beauty of the Welsh landscape to the Himalayas and Kashmir, this is a story of bravery, courage and love. Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time in her life, to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. As war engulfs Europe, the Watkins are in remote Ladakh, high up in the Himalayas. Nerys is lonely, but she makes a glamorous new friend, Myrtle McMinn, who introduces her to the lakeside city of Srinagar.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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