Thank you so much Amy at Head of Zeus for having me on board! What a special book this was! I am truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to read this in advance!
A wide-ranging and affecting debut novel about family and identity, from an award-winning historian.
1981. Khalid Quraishi is one of the lucky ones. He works nights in the glitzy West End, and comes home every morning to his beautiful wife and daughter. He’s a world away from Karachi and the family he left behind.
But Khalid likes to gamble, and he likes to win. Twenty pounds on the fruit machine, fifty on a sure-thing horse, a thousand on an investment that seems certain to pay out. Now he’s been offered a huge opportunity, a chance to get in early with a new bank, and it looks like he’ll finally have his big win.
2003. Alia Quraishi doesn’t really remember her dad. After her parents’ divorce she hardly saw him, and her mum refuses to talk about her charming ex-husband. So, when he died in what the police wrote off as a sad accident, Alia had no reason to believe there was more going on.
Now almost twenty years have passed and she’s tired of only understanding half of who she is. Her dad’s death alone and miles from his west London stomping ground doesn’t add up with the man she knew. If she’s going to find out the truth about her father – and learn about the other half of herself – Alia is going to have to visit his home, a place she’s never been, and connect with a family that feel more like strangers.
Slow burning but gripping; set between 1987 and 2003; you wittily alternate between Khalid’s point of view then, his daughter Alia’s there and then, and MP Mark Denby’s.
From the very first page, you get sucked in this serious and complex story, which becomes a journey through different cultures, mixing up intricacies of family dynamics, friendships, politics, struggles of immigration, traditions and communities.
Travel with Alia to Pakistan. Explore the culture and embark on this sensory journey with her. Share her internal struggles towards her family. Accompany her in her quest for answers.
Discover Khalid’s life in the 80s. Share his dreams and ambitions for the future, his burning desire of richness and grandeur, of making a mark. Follow his struggles as an immigrant, the toughness of finding a job, his battles as a gambling addict, along with the devastating consequences that this can have.
Delve into the political dynamics, the dilemmas of right and wrong of Mark Denby. Share his family life, his discoveries about the dodgy BCCI bank, his secrets and his demons.
A very cleverly drafted, very rich story, where the reader gets to peel off layer after layer, page after page, delving into deep and thoroughly crafted characters, a truly pleasant read which I strongly recommend !
Out now with Head of Zeus
—About Yasmin Cordery Khan—
Yasmin Cordery Khan is an historian and broadcaster. She is the author of The Great Partition (for which she won the Gladstone Prize for History), and The Raj at War, and has written for the Guardian and the Observer. Edgware Road is her first novel.
Don’t forget to check out what my fellow bloggers are saying!