Burnt Shadows is my third book by Kamila Shamsie. Each book pleasantly surprised me as I like the read her. This book in particular is a moving ans well as an aching tale of love and loss. Her books span to two or more countries, hence give you a ride to different scenes, languages and culture. She describes details in an interesting way. You will feel transported to a world she creates.
Burnt Shadows is a beautiful story of loss, hope, love and belonging. Hiriko is a Japanese girl who survived the Nagasaki bombing. She lives with the scars and loss of her love Konard. She then moves to Delhi where she finds a friend for life. She is Elizabeth, who is Konard’s sister. She finds love and longing to live in Sajjad. Partition happens and they settle in Karachi for good. Sajjad and Hiriko both lost their home and dreams. They start life in Karachi. Their son Raza who also struggles to find his place in the surroundings from Japan to Pakistan towards Afghanistan. Then there is Henry, who is British by birth yet lives and serves America.
There are different characters in Burnt Shadows yet they are all important. Kamila gives everyone a due share in the Burnt Shadows. Each one brings a certain element to the overall scene. Character development is wonderful. Seemingly unimportant people will come back later with such a powerful impact that leaves readers surprised and in awe.
Many times during the read I felt the thread is finished but she runs the Burnt Shadows brilliantly again and again. One thing that is common in all of my reads by Kamila Shamsie is the open ending. There is a world of possibilities that you can weave around the ending. It’s neither sad nor happy, instead it’s up to your own creativity how you perceive it. I totally recommend this Burnt Shadows.
Critical Analysis by Sidra Javed
Previous Review by the same contributor: نولکھی کوٹھی