Mar 2015 - Kartography - Kamila Shamsie


Raheen and her best friend Karim share an idyllic upper-class childhood in Karachi. Their parents were once engaged to each other’s partners until they rematched in what they call the "fiancée swap". But as adolescence distances the friends, Karim takes refuge in maps while Raheen searches for the secret behind her parents' exchange. What she uncovers reveals not just a family's but a country's turbulent history and a grown-up Raheen and Karim are caught between strained friendship and fated love.


A love story with a family mystery at its heart, Kartography is a dazzling novel by a young writer of astonishing maturity and exhilarating style. Shamsie transports us to a world we have not often seen in fiction - vibrant, dangerous, sensuous Pakistan. But even as she takes us far from the familiar, her story of passion and family secrets rings universally true.

The book was really enjoyed by all members of the Group, with very few criticisms; a list of characters would have been appreciated, as would a Map of east and west Pakistan.

An added bonus was hearing one of our member's descriptions of her childhood experiences growing up in this very same environment. We would recommend this book as a very good read.


Submitted by Sue Nelson


Report from Book Group 2, February Meeting