I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy of Shaheen Darr’s new novel Kismet: A Desi Rhapsody in London, due for release today
The novel follows the fates of the members of two Pakistani immigrant families in the United Kingdom. As an anglophile who married into an Indian family who immigrated to the U.S. before my husband was born, I was interested as soon as I saw the lovely cover, designed by Eeva Lancaster. The deft treatment of the cultural conflicts between immigrant parents and children, as well as the tension between assimilation and cultural preservation, was both realistic and emotionally effective. I also enjoyed the way she structured the novel, allowing us to see the events from various points of view.
The narratives are quite touching, exploring such themes as romance, betrayal, heartbreak, depression, tragedy, remorse, redemption, and, of course, kismet. The idea of fate is a fascinating one to me, one that sometimes allows people to make sense of the events of their lives, and one that carries through all the storylines of this novel.
Kismet is a lovely book, one I highly recommend for its skillful writing, lyrical descriptions, emotional impact, and charming characters. It is a book that will follow you out the door, like the smell of your mother’s house.