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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Kashmir Shawl


The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

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.