The Kashmir Shawl – Rosie Thomas

Twin stories of love in the Himalaya, both rooted in the valleys and sheep farms of North Wales.

Nerys’ story is set in the late 1930s and early 1940s when she follows her Presbyterian minister missionary husband to India. Although destined for remote Ladakh, Nerys finds herself living with the wartime jet set in Srinagar. Modern day Mair follows in her in her grandmother’s footsteps, initially the company of a Swiss American couple and their toddler daughter Lotus. En route there are wonderful descriptions of Ladakhi gompa, Kashmiri mountains and passes – even if, sadly, modern borders and geopolitics mean that the mid 20th century bazaar caravan world of Leh is long gone.

I must confess (no surprise here) that having finished The Kashmir Shawl, my appetite for this part of the world has been well and truly whetted… a trek from Leh to Srinagar is on my To Do list. The Kashmir Shawl – Rosie Thomas