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Saturday, February 07, 2015

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie

Luminous writing, interesting characters, and an exciting story make this wonderful novel a must-read.  The exotic locations also help.  It is definitely difficult to put down!

The story revolves around the heroine, Viv, a young English archaeology student.  When the book begins, she is on a dig in Turkey where she finds herself falling in love with her much older tutor.  He faces terrible danger, however, because he has Armenian blood, and the Turkish hatred of Armenians. When the First World War starts, Viv and Tahsin Bey are on opposite sides, and Viv returns to England.

She starts nursing, but it doesn't suit her, so her wise mother sends her to Peshawar where she keeps studying the history of Scylax and Darius and searches for a historical silver circlet.  Here she teaches the Pashtun Nageeb, who dreams of becoming an archaeologist himself.  Meanwhile, his brother, injured in the war, joins the independence fighters.  A great tragedy strikes Viv, and the story begins again many years later...

I can well understand why Kamila Shamsie has received a nomination for the Folio Prize for this novel.  The only problem is that I found that the book had several characters and that it was rather complicated, and it involved a lot of ancient history.  I read an ebook - it is probably better to buy the paperback. I will certainly read Shamsie's other novels.

(This ebook published by Bloomsbury was provided through Net Galley. My opinion is entirely my own).

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