The Wonder House

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9780802118226: The Wonder House

Justine Hardy is an English journalist, a best-selling author, and a filmmaker who's spent much of the past fifteen years living in India. Her American debut, The Wonder House, has crafted an unforgettable love story set in the turbulent region of Kashmir, one of the most beautiful and broken places in the world.

On Nagin Lake sits moored a houseboat called The Wonder House, on which Englishwoman, Gracie Singh, has been living out her widowhood since the death of her Indian husband. From The Wonder House Gracie has watched the valley become brutally disfigured by Pakistan and India's drawn-out clash over this coveted territory — just as she has watched her best friend and landlord, Masood Abdullah, change from a jeans-wearing, flirtatious young man to an anxious father hemmed in by growing Islamic orthodoxy. Soon after Masood's nephew disappears to join an extremist militant group, Hal, a journalist from England, comes to interview Gracie, putting them all in grave danger.

Told by and about a Western woman's immersion in the endlessly alluring and troubled Islamic culture of North India, Hardy's gorgeous and gritty novel about human passions in a battered valley is a vital addition to the literature about India.

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About the Author:

Justine Hardy has spent the past fifteen years working as a writer, journalist and a documentary maker both in and out of India. Scoop-wallah: Life on a Delhi Daily (1999) was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Award and Bollywood Boy, her book about the Bombay film industry was a bestseller on publication in 2002. The Wonder House is her first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

The rising fears and fading aspirations of a Muslim family in Indian-controlled Kashmir come in for observation by outsiders in Hardy's fiction debut, set in 1999–2000—just after the Kargil War and Musharraf's subsequent coup. Gracie Singh is an 80-year-old Englishwoman who has lived in Kashmir since the death of her Indian husband more than 20 years ago. She drifts about in a nostalgic, alcoholic daze on her houseboat, which everyone calls the Wonder House, tended by Lila, a niece of Gracie's landlord and decades-long friend, Masood Abdullah, and by Lila's mother, the mysteriously mute Suriya. The Abdullahs live in fear of both a brutal Indian military and the radicalization of their religion; when Masood's nephew Irfan leaves home to join a militant group, he puts the family in grave danger, a situation exacerbated by the arrival of English journalist Hal Copeman. Hardy chronicled a rising 1990s New Delhi and the always fabulous Bollywood in a pair of nonfiction titles. In her novel she uses too light a touch with history (as pushed through an acerbic Gracie and the Abdullah family exigencies) and too heavy a hand with message (having Hal, for instance, apologize for journalism's limitations). But her scenes are rich with sensual detail, making for vivid impressions. (Apr.)
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Justine Hardy
Published by Grove Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 0802118224 ISBN 13: 9780802118226
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Justine Hardy
Published by Grove Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 0802118224 ISBN 13: 9780802118226
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Irish Booksellers
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