Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz

A photo posted by CaroGomez (@carolikesbooks) on
Format: Paperback

Pages: 445

Source: Library

Genres: Fiction, CanLit

Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Publication date: March 30th, 2013

Thoughts: This was one of the 2015 selections of the Hello Hemlock. I have to say, I really, really like this one. The story follows the lives of two sisters, Beena and Sadhana. The book opens with Beena dealing with the recent death of her sister, due to a sudden heart attack, and it's through her grief and memories that the author takes the story back to their childhood. Daughters of a Sikh baker and a white yoga instructor, the two girls become orphan at very early age and then end up in the care of their very strict uncle.

Nawaz builds her story around what sisterhood can be and mean, while also touching hard subjects such as death, anorexia and teenage pregnancy. How little we can now from the people that are the closest to us, and how, even after they departure they can still surprise us.

I think that, because I live in Montreal, the images described by the author, in the Plateau, walking around the city, felt so much more vivid. And yet, she also shows another side of the city that I am not familiar with, trough complex characters that have much more than one facet and even at the end are still changing.

Some reviewers have mentioned that the side story (the immigrant family) was unnecessary, but I think it showed another side of Sadhana and considering that they came from an immigrant family too, it made sense to me that it touched her so deeply. Considering it's such a thorny subject around here, I feel that Nawaz used to the advantage of the story, with characters that felt that they don't always belong, even if they were born there. 

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