Customer Reviews for

The Kashmir Shawl: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

What a story Rosie Thomas was written, she had me walking with t

What a story Rosie Thomas was written, she had me walking with the Characters through the streets in India. I could almost smell the goats, as was described. We experience the life with the Raj, and the slums.
The story begins with the death of her father, Mair finds a ...
What a story Rosie Thomas was written, she had me walking with the Characters through the streets in India. I could almost smell the goats, as was described. We experience the life with the Raj, and the slums.
The story begins with the death of her father, Mair finds a beautiful Kashmir Shawl among the belongings. She also finds an old envelope with some hair stored in it. Thus begins her quest for answers, and her trip to India.
There are actually two stories told here, some of it we know but Mair never has all the answers. Mair's Grandmother Nerys and Grandfather Evan are missionaries to India, with WWII going on in 1941, we are about to experience life there. Nerys spends time with Myrtle, and Carolyn, you will enjoy the fun times they make out adversity.
I really recommend this as a Historical read, so very interesting. Even when Mair goes there, there is fighting between the Hindu's and the Muslims. So very sad.
Putting this combined story together is a real page turner, and even though the book is a bit long, it was a quick read.

I received this book through The Bookreporter giveaway, and was not required to give a positive review.

posted by MaureenST on January 20, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

The publication date is 1/10/2013 but there is a four-star ratin

The publication date is 1/10/2013 but there is a four-star rating for this book that is dated 2/21/2012.  What gives???  Does this mean the ratings are all bogus???!!!  Am only giving one star as I have not read book and am wondering about B and N's reviews.

posted by ChattyK on January 10, 2013

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    This book is wonderfully written. It makes you feel what it was

    This book is wonderfully written. It makes you feel what it was to live in India in those times. We sadly see the changes happening in Srinagar after the war. The characters are full of life and live every moment intensely. A great story. Hard to put the book down. I loved it and I recommend it to all historical fiction lovers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    A real treat

    What a treasure! I loved this book. Then and now threads were beautifully woven to create a masterpiece. The generational back and forth was not hard to follow....I found myself looking forward to it, and how it all came together at the end. Remarkable writing. Definitely recommend this book and look forward to her new book coming out in the fall.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    A beautifully crafted story.

    Rosie Thomas has written this story in a way that immediately draws the reader in. Her descriptions of places and characters keep you there. A wonderful tale from beginning to end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Read the editorial reviews......ofcu Read the editorial reviews....of course it didn't come out today!

    It's not barnes & noble misusing the review process, it is customers....like us!.....happy reading! Looks ike a good one to me

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Excellent!!!

    Wonderful plot. Loved the setting. Great characters. This book is highly recommended. Another great book written about the same time period is "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. Both are well researched historical fiction. Both books deserve A+++++

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    Would read again!

    There aren't too many books I read and immediately want to read again. This one is a definite re-read! I enjoy a little history, a little romance, a little mystery...this book had it all.

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  • Posted March 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Maria Book provided by NetGalley for review Review o

    Reviewed by Maria
    Book provided by NetGalley for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book


    I read my first Rosie Thomas novel THE WHITE DOVE more than two decades ago. I found it to be a memorable read, an historical novel set in the early years of the 20th century. Twenty five years later, it’s delightful to see Ms. Thomas is still penning historical works of the same, noteworthy quality. She still has that quality of producing spellbinding dialogue and even more memorable characters not to mention compulsive story lines which literally drag you in.

    THE KASHMIR SHAWL is both historical and contemporary. It’s the story of Mair (pron. Mayar, Welsh for Mary) Ellis, a young woman who comes to India to discover something of the unknown history of her grandmother, Nerys Watkins, the wife of a nonconformist missionary pastor. At the same time, it’s Nerys’ story too. Nerys, the eager young pastor’s wife, who took up life in the mission field some seventy years previously. Side by side, Mair and Nerys’ stories unfold. Nerys had married straight out of teacher training college. At a somewhat more mature age, Mair still hasn’t settled down although we see her sharing drinks, a long chat and an obvious attraction with Bruno, the father of a young family, the Beckers, which she meets on her travels. We sense her dismay at the growing attraction and her eagerness to put a lid on it. Mair isn’t the sort of girl who would just go after another woman’s man.

    The story of Nerys is visible to the reader, but not to Mair. She has to be content with some cryptic clues her grandmother has bequeathed from the past. A beautiful Kashmir shawl in a now obsolete style of work known as ‘kani’ and a lock of hair.

    As readers we see Nerys in the Srinagar club with her friends, fellow British Raj wives Myrtle McMinn and Caroline Bowen. Caroline’s marriage to a rough army officer is a most disappointing union, leading the vulnerable young woman to seek the love that eludes her in an affair with a young Indian man from a princely family, who is most certainly using her. It’s actually use verging on abuse, albeit of a mental kind. British but Indian born Myrtle, with her incessant cigarette smoking, her dry sense of humour and non-judgmental stance in matters of the heart, is one of the more memorable characters in the story. And dear, lovely Nerys, the ever practical pastor’s wife. Her idealistic and shy husband prays for more converts to his church while Nerys feels, without saying it out, that India has more than enough religions to keep it going and that it would be rather more practical to offer it’s teeming masses some practical way to exit from the hopeless cycle of poverty. Yet Nerys’s devotion to duty Is severely tested when she indulges in a short, discreet affair in her husband’s absence, with a Swiss mountaineer, Rainer Stamm. With Rainer, she touches the heights of passion such as she’s never experienced with her shy pastor husband, which has never amounted to more than a frantic fumble and a shy goodnight. Yet unlike her immature friend Caroline, who dreams that her Indian lover will try to claim her for his own, Nerys is adamant that she will never leave her husband. She is careful enough to employ contraception and lets her lover know that this can never be more than temporary. She, like the British of her time, knows her duty. As Myrtle puts it quite succinctly, ‘we’re wives of the Raj’, which to put it another way, means, ‘we know our role.’

    Mair’s association with the Becker family ends tragically early in the narrative, after a fatal incident in Leh, in northern India. She meets Bruno Becker again towards the end of the story, and by then a lot of the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. She’s acquired the acquaintance of the nonagenarian Caroline Bowen along with some letters and a powerful photograph. She’s guessing about Nerys’s attraction to Rainer Stamm in the way one feels something inwardly. Returning to India with Becker about a year after leaving, there is a sense of completion and that sense that a new chapter is about to start.

    As I live in the Gangetic Plain of north India and have visited Srinagar in the Jammu and Kashmir State, I can vouch for the authenticity of the narrative. Thomas’s descriptive prose brings north India alive. She mentions the warm ‘pheron’ coats of Kashmir. These coats are often acquired by foreigners and while most of them are made from traditional woolen cloth, I noticed that pherons are also available in a British looking tweed fabric and wondered how that could be. But now, from reading this story, I realize that the tweed pheron came into use during the British rule in India. The British had a tendency to Anglicize a lot of things and the pheron is one of them.

    As an historical novel, it’s painstakingly well researched. As a contemporary novel it also comes up to the mark, although I would have liked to know more about Mair as a person in her own right and not just as someone investigating her grandmother. Yes, Mair’s interesting life is also recorded, but where she goes from here intrigues me a lot. I guess I’m just hungry for more of her story. Humorous and sometimes tragic but never ever dull, this story from the times the British ruled in India held my attention until the very end.


    Favorite Quote: From Tibet there were trays of silver, coral and turquoise jewellery, from China painted Thermos flasks and furry nylon blankets in electric hues.

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  • Posted May 15, 2013

     The Kashmir Shawl: A Novel, by Rosie Thomas, follows a young gi

     The Kashmir Shawl: A Novel, by Rosie Thomas, follows a young girl by the name of Mair.  While Mair is cleaning out her parents house after their deaths, she finds a beautiful Kashmir Shawl, a picture, and a lock of hair that sparks her interest.  She decides that she will travel to India to find out who the lock of hair belonged to, who is the picture she found, and what the shawls story was!  It turns out that the shawl was Mair's grandmother's, Nerys.  The story then goes back and forth between Mair in present day and Nerys back in the 1940's.




         The author did an amazing job at taking two separate stories and weaving them together into one story with out any confusion.   I'm glad that I decided to take a chance on this amazing book.  It was a page turner from the get go.  I was so entrances with both Mair and Nerys' stories.  I found myself feeling as Mair did, just wanting to know more and understand where the shawl came from.  I would highly recommend this book  to anyone looking for a great read.  Good job to the author, I am looking forward to reading more from Rosie Thomas!  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Lets all start our own clans!!!!!

    My name is Starfire , i am the daughter of Blackshadowand Stargaze .I am 3 moons old and i am a orange tabby with a dimond with a star on my tail i have harsh blue crystal eyes and I am super fast (I can out run the speed pf light) and can jump to amazing heights . I have been sent by my father to find soliders to help us defeat an unknown enemy from the east. If any clan can get this message ......please send help for without help my clan will no longer exist.

    -Starfire

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Wonderful Book

    I absolutely loved this book. I didn't know what to expect when I ordered it. I was so pleased with the characters and the time period. I looked forward to my "reading time" every day so I could return to The Kashmir Shawl, and now I really miss it since I have finished it. If you enjoy fiction that takes place in foreign places and is based on actual historical facts, this book is for you. I will explore this author again.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Really interesting and well writen.

    At first I thought I wouldn't like it because it seemed a bit disjointed but as I read on, all the threads began to weave a really interesting and enjoyable pattern. Who knew Kashmir Shawls were so fascinating and had such meaning. I've heard of them all my life but never owned one. Now, I would like to at least touch one just because of all the effort that goes into making one.

    Again, a tad slow to begin but really good as it gets going.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Loved it

    I really enjoyed this book. I wish B&N would offer this author,s other books. neysas

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    SUPER BOOK A MUST READ!!!

    KASHMIR SHAWL - ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE EVER READ. ROSIE THOMAS HAS A WONDERFUL WAY WITH WORDS. I ONLY WISH I COULD FIND MORE BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR AVAILABLE IN THE US.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Excelent

    Riviting read really enjoyable cant wait to read more of rosie thomas please get more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    wonderful characters

    A great book to snuggle up to for a good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Very good story.

    I found this a very good story. I enjoyed the 1940's part more than later dated part. It was touching, in that the grandaughter worked hard to find answers, and the freindships formed were special in both generations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    LOVE this book!

    The storytelling is amazing, so rich and inviting--I fell right into this novel and couldn't put it down. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Rate this book if you read it (i did not read this book yet)

    I need to know how it is

    0 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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