- Book: To Lahore, With Love
- Location: Lahore, London
- Author: Hina Belitz
Addy is of mixed race and living in London with her Irish mother and her Pakistani grandmother. A household with three women is going to have its moments. Addy’s Dad is no longer part of the family but the women who look after her nurture her with faith and food. Food is a balm in this all-female household.
This novel is an immersive “foodie” novel ‘for fans of Nadiya Hussain and Ayisha Malik’. Addy inevitably struggles with her identity but soon finds herself in a relationship with Gabe. Things, at first seem to be working out fine but their relationship soon turns out to be tricky. Grandma decides to take Addy and her friend Jen to Lahore, where many of their family members are based and it is here that secrets start to unfurl.
Addy enjoys learning about her family and above all, as a chef, she delights in the ingredients and dishes that she discovers in hot, sweltering and noisy Lahore. She also has to face several secrets that integral in her own birth family, as well as questionable behaviour on the part of her friend.
This is a short and easy-to-read novel that is strong on the restorative power of food and good dishes on anguished souls. There are indications that the relationships in the all the female household could be complex and I think that more detail on the mother / grandmother relationship would have added a further realistic dimension… how do two women from such divergent backgrounds find a way of living together, especially when the husband/son/father has upped and gone away and abandoned every important female person in his life?
This is a thoughtful coming-of-age story. And a nice combination of colours/design on the book cover to boot!