Ramya (Idea Smith)'s Reviews > Salt and Saffron

Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
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Sep 07, 2012

really liked it

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

September 5, 2012 – Started Reading
September 7, 2012 – Shelved
September 7, 2012 –
page 36
14.06% "As with Broken Verses, this book also feels like poetry in prose form. Cutting soliloquy, dry-wit dialogue interspersed with soul-searching nostalgia."
September 14, 2012 – Finished Reading

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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