heaven_ali (heaven_ali) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

#92 Kartography - Kamila Shamsie (2002)

Kartography is Kamila Shamsie's impressive third novel. At its heart is rather a traditional love story-cum-family saga. Karim and Raheen are anagram swapping "fated friends". Until the age of 13, when Karim moved to London, they were virtually raised as brother and sister. Their parents had once been engaged to each other. The unravelling of quite why this matrimonial square dance occurred is juxtaposed with Karim and Raheen's own, and decidedly more protracted, romance.

I love Kamila Shamsie's novels, and this was the last one I had yet to read. "Kartography" is a touching coming of age novel, Raheen and Karim's relationship is beautifully portrayed and infectious. Their's is an anagram speaking, perfect friendship, which is threatened by the secrets of their parents past.
Alongside the story of modern Pakistan, and it's inhabitants is the story of Raheen and Karim's parent's relationships, what happened to them in 1971 during the civil war, and the repercussions that has for Raheen and Karim years later. This is an enormously readable, poignant read, which captures the atmosphere of Karachi, the spirit of it's people and it's problems.

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