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Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
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Broken Verses

by Kamila Shamsie

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A subtle and beautiful character-driven novel of family, love, loss, grief and ultimately hope. Probably my favorite read this year. ( )
  akeela | Sep 19, 2013 |
This novel is about a daughter's search for her mother who disappeared, and her mother's lover, The Poet, who is presumed dead. It was was lovely, heartbreaking, and brilliant. ( )
1 vote bookwoman247 | Aug 20, 2013 |
From June 2005 School Library Journal:
Growing up in modern-day Pakistan, Aasmaani Inqalab is no stranger to government corruption and intrigue. Her heroes since childhood have been her mother, an outspoken activist, and her mother’s lover, a poet known for his criticism of bureaucracy. Far from a stable influence while Aasmaani was growing up, the couple had a pattern of disappearing into exile when the government drew too close and reappearing in Aasmaani’s life a few months or years later. Sixteen years ago, when Aasmaani was a teenager, Pakistan was devastated by the news that the Poet had been beaten to death, and nobody was surprised when Aasmaani’s mother vanished shortly afterwards. Aasmaani has always assumed that this disappearance was like all the others in her mother’s life, and that she will reappear without apology one day. But when Aasmaani begins receiving coded messages that suggest that the Poet’s death was staged as part of a deeper government plot, she is drawn into a web of intrigue in which her own life may be in danger. Against this backdrop, her mother’s closest friend, Shehnaz Saeed, resurfaces, and Aasmaani must decide if Shehnaz and her son Ed are truly looking out for her well-being or if they have ulterior motives in trying to build a friendship with her. Already wary of close relationships, the question of who she can trust becomes essential as she gets closer to the truth surrounding her mother and the Poet.
Kamila Shamsie weaves a story that skillfully combines political intrigue with family dynamics. Her characters are beautifully drawn, especially Aasmaani, who yearns to love and trust, but whose inability to get beyond her mother’s abandonment has left deep scars. Shamsie’s love for and knowledge of the people of today’s Karachi shine through and provide the perfect complement to an extremely compelling story.
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1 vote KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
An amazing book. The writing is beautiful and poetic. The imagery keen and the story imaginative. I'm quite taken by the emotional depth of the narrator. In addition the psychology and development of each character provide such satisfying insights. The dialogue is clever and I think realistic to the point I felt like a voyeur.

I read Kartography and liked it but I think Broken Verses has greater depth and enables a richer experience. I'm now going to read Burnt Shadows. ( )
  ming.l | Mar 31, 2013 |
After reading Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, I was so taken in by her elegant writing style that I could not stop myself from picking up Broken Verses. Kamila has revealed yet again the artful story teller that she is. If a book can move you to tears, then surely there is something much more to it than just a story.

The protagonist, Aasmaani Inqalab literally meaning Celestial Revolution, lives in the seaside city of Karachi, where she flits from one mundane job to another so she can remove any spark of the person she once was willing to be, a person who thought she could change the world. Born to a highly unconventional activist mother and a regular banker, Aasmaani, since her childhood has been embroiled in conflicting worlds, an idealist world of protests and poetry which belongs to her mother, Samina and her lover, The Poet, and the pragmatic comforting world of her father and his family. Aasmaani, who cannot come to terms with her mother’s disappearance, has been conjuring up images of her glorious return the past fifteen years. She is so caught up in thinking she has never been good enough for her mother to stay, that she fails to see the people around her reaching out to her and trying to pull her out of her shell, including her half sister Razia and her colleague Ed. It remains to be seen whether Aasmaani does loosen up as this riveting tale draws to a close.....

Read more @ http://suchisbookshelf.blogspot.com/2010/04/broken-verses-kamila-shamsie.html ( )
  suchisundar | Apr 6, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156030535, Paperback)

Fourteen years ago, famous Pakistani activist Samina Akram disappeared. Two years earlier, her lover, Pakistan's greatest poet, was beaten to death by government thugs. In present-day Karachi, her daughter Aasmaani has just discovered a letter in the couple's private code-a letter that could only have been written recently.

Aasmaani is thirty, single, drifting from job to job. Always left behind whenever Samina followed the Poet into exile, she had assumed that her mother's disappearance was simply another abandonment. Then, while working at Pakistan's first independent TV station, Aasmaani runs into an old friend of Samina's who gives her the first letter, then many more. Where could the letters have come from? And will they lead her to her mother?

Merging the personal with the political, Broken Verses is at once a sharp, thrilling journey through modern-day Pakistan, a carefully coded mystery, and an intimate mother-daughter story that asks how we forgive a mother who leaves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Years after her renowned Pakistani poet father is killed by government thugs and her activist mother disappears, Aasmaani, an employee at Pakistan's first independent television station, begins to receive a series of letters written in her mother's private code.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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