AUTHOR Rosie Thomas will discuss her latest book The Kashmir Shawl and how her love of travel and adventure has inspired much of her writing, in a talk to be held to be held as part of the Oundle Festival of Literature, at St Peter’s Church, Oundle on June 21 (7.30pm). Profits from this event will go to HEAL.
Once she was established as a writer and her children had grown up, Rosie discovered a love of travelling and mountaineering. She has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, competed in the Peking to Paris car rally, spent time on a tiny Bulgarian research station in Antarctica and travelled the ‘silk road’ through Asia.
While researching her latest book Rosie travelled the same routes as the ancient pashmina trade, crossing the Himalayas from Ladakh to the Vale of Srinagar in Kashmir.
The Kashmir Shawl, winner of the RNA Epic Romantic Novel Award 2012, is described as an epic tale of bravery, courage, and great love, spanning three generations.
Rosie is one of only a few authors to have twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, in 1985 with Sunrise, and in 2007 with Iris and Ruby. Other well-known bestsellers by the same author include Sun at Midnight and Constance.
HEAL are delighted that their charity was chosen to benefit from this event, with all proceeds going direct to their projects for providing education and shelter to severely underprivileged children in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Tickets for the talk, priced at £7 and £5, are available from Oundle Box Office (tel 01832 274734) and online at www.oundlefestival.org.uk. Any queries, contact Helen Shair at email@example.com or telephone 01832 274134.
Here is a brief synopsis of The Kashmir Shawl:
Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Deep in the exquisite heart of 1940s Kashmir lies the lakeside city of Srinagar, where the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war. But the battles draw closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman.
Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father’s house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, a lock of child’s hair wrapped within its folds. Tracing her grandparents’ roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.
‘A spellbinding tale. Beautifully written, honest and compassionate…a delight from start to finish. Thomas’ portrayal of a young wife struggling to cope with life in wartime Kashmir, her husband’s indifference to her and her attraction to a charismatic mountaineer is beautifully written, touching and believable.’
‘A superbly researched and vivid evocation of wartime Kashmir and Ladakh – and fascinating, too, on how the pashmina shawl makes its way from the Himalayas to our high streets.’
The Kashmir Shawl is published by Harper Collins and available in paperback, price £7.99.