Book Review: An Isolated Incident
I have a rule when it comes to writing. When a book comes endorsed by one of your favorite authors, in this case Khaled Hosseini, you don’t think twice. That is the reason I picked this book. Maybe, this is what lead to my slight disappointment when I ended the book. I somehow expected the author, Soniah Kamal, to be like Mr. Hosseini, but sadly, she was not.
An Isolated Incident tells the story of Zarina Zoon aka Zari, a beautiful girl from an upper-middle class, Kashmiri family, living in Srinagar. Her fate takes a downturn when her life changes overnight, leaving her alone in a world of misery, fending for her life. Transported to families that will take her in only to move her to another establishment, she loses hope until she is moved to the Nabi family in the US. Billawal Nabi aka Billy, who is the eye of the apple of the Nabi Family, is plagued by his family’s history and ties with Kashmir. He idolizes his grandfather, having never met him and advocates an independent Kashmir. He falls in love with Zari and the two secretly marry without the knowledge of their elders. Increasingly inundated by his Kashmiri ties, he goes in search of his ancestral history and to fight for Kashmir, leaving his family in a lurch. What follows is the plot of the book.
Don’t get me wrong, the book was interesting in many ways
its description of the Kashmiri way of life, Kashmir’s beauty, the naked truth about insurgency in the woe ridden beauty. For people who want a background on Kashmir’s woes, this book will definitely answer your questions, although you may not like the way it treats the Indians. The author’s narrative (though, you should remember to turn off your mind’s spell check, or else it will put you off!) flows well around the plot, tying them tight without any loose folds left behind. The varied emotions of the blighted mind has been captured very well. The lives of the hypocritical immigrants torn between their religion and societal choices has been bought out well by the author. Billy’s choices ridden with his haste and wrongful beliefs have been described well.
Though the plot takes of well,
you get lost in the torrid flow of a tiring narrative on the emotions of the character. The characters turn out to be juvenile and immature in many cases, and that too not in a normal way, leaving us disappointed from what was earlier promised by the author. The author’s views on the whole Kashmir issue is clearly evident and she need not have delved into the repeated placing of sorrow-filled and bleak lives. Also, the reason behind Zari’s family’s massacre is left unanswered, which leaves a big hole in the plot.
This book is what I would call a classic coming-of-age wannabe, readable once, but doesn’t stay with you much once you finish it.
Title: An Isolated Incident
Author: Soniah Kamal
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Drama
Rating: 3.00 of 5
Reviewed for: Publisher
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