The Uncommon Memories of Zeenat Querishi by Veena Nagpal

When I was asked if I would like to review this book, I immediately said yes because I thought it would be interesting to learn about the culture of India – a culture which is very different from the one in which I live. I began to read and was immediately immersed in the middle of an age-old disagreement between two Indian families – one Hindu and the other Muslim. Intriguing to me. However, as I read further I became hopelessly lost – more and more so as I continued to read. Several times I had to backtrack and reread several chapters in order to progress. This was annoying at the least. The author’s descriptions of localities and people was detailed, in fact sometimes too much so. I felt they detracted from the story trying to be told. Many times things were described and prayers or phrases offered up by characters without explanation for Western readers.


Sadly, I must admit defeat. I tried for over eight weeks to make my way through this book but only made it half way. I’m sure that the story is easily read and understood by those who have a greater understanding of the Indian culture. I can sense the depth of the story lurking in the second half of the book and hope someday to give it another chance.


Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.