Idea Smith's Reviews > Salt and Saffron

Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
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Sep 16, 12

Read from September 05 to 14, 2012 — I own a copy

Aaliya is a global citizen of Pakistani origin. But a flirtatious conversation with a stranger on the plane sets her thinking about her roots and the people and stories that have led to her.

The Dard-e-dils, Aaliya's family, trace their roots back to the Mughal era, through British occupation, down to the Partition that broke hearts & families and finally their current day status as Karachian elite. Aaliya skips between past and present as she grapples with the mysterious loss of a beloved cousin, the strange myth of the 'not-quite-twins' and the class snobbery that she derides in her family but is shocked to find even in her own self.

The story moves along through various family anecdotes, tragic & funny. These fit together as a jigsaw puzzle, coming together only in the end as Aaliya makes her peace with her identity, her place in the family and the man she may love. Shamsie's writing carries a wry wit inconguously laced with touching vulnerability. This is what takes her books above the mundanity of everyday stories, into sheer poetry. I do think the ending is weaker than the rest of the book but perhaps, in a story of great drama, a nondescript ending is the right one.
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Reading Progress

09/07/2012 page 36
14.0% "As with Broken Verses, this book also feels like poetry in prose form. Cutting soliloquy, dry-wit dialogue interspersed with soul-searching nostalgia."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Aasia (new)

Aasia Khatoon An excellent novel

message 2: by Aalia (new) - added it

Aalia Khan Yousafzai This book is SO for me!

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