women writers 2

At last some winter cold; more reason to tuck up with a book when you can. Two books by women writers new to me have been woven around the Indian subcontinent throughout the last 200 years. I have family links into India with relatives in the Indian Army right through the last century. Despite many stories, there is rarely any mention of the experience of the women of my family; when time allows I intend to rectify this.  So to the books.  The research, the detail and sense of place in both were wonderful. I was drawn into the physical and emotional lives of characters.  Women’s roles were especially vivid for me, showing how ’empire’ expectations, cultural norms and harsh restrictions affected their lives, their mental health and their choices.

GodineverystoneKamila Shamsie | A God in Every Stone
Summer of 1914. Young Englishwoman Vivien Rose Spencer is in an ancient land about to discover the Temple of Zeus, the call of adventure and love. Thousands of miles away a 20 year old Pathan, Qayyum Gul, is learning about brotherhood and loyalty in the British Indian army. Vivien has been separated from the man she loves; Qayyum has lost an eye at Ypres. They meet on a train in Peshawar unaware that a connection is about to be forged between them – which will be revealed fifteen years later.  © Bloomsbury


umi sinha | belonging
From the darkest days of the British Raj to the aftermath of the First World War, Belonging tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence and prejudice.  © Myriad Editions

Buy both books through Wordery.

© sue orton


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