Friday, May 1, 2009

Burnt Shadows

Kamila Shamsie
Bloomsbury Publishing 2009

9 August 1945, Nagasaki, Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one and in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss.

In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realisation. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost.

This wonderful story follows Hiroko from Nagasaki to Delhi to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and finally to New York and back to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Salman Rushdie said of Kamila Shamsie, "a writer of immense ambition and strength."

This book came to me as a winner of the book draw given by Lynne at DoveGreyReader, where you can find a full review. Thank you so much Lynne and to Bloomsbury as well.

1 comment:

Kay said...

This sounds like a very powerful book. Thanks for the book review. I felt a shudder because my mother's name is Hiroko.