Edgware Road: Yasmin Cordery Khan

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Edgware Road: Yasmin Cordery Khan

Edgware Road: Yasmin Cordery Khan

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Where do you find a lost father? In the mirror, in the sweep of an arched eyebrow, in the sheen of hair? In the echo of a phrase that comes in the night, passed on and learned.”

The second narrative concerns Alia Quraishi twenty years later in 2003, who finds herself compelled to investigate the mysterious death of her father, who she never really knew. Khalid can’t resist gambling himself, although not in the big clubs, which he couldn’t afford. He bets on the race and stops in at a local pub with a mate.


But Khalid likes to gamble, and he likes to win. Twenty pounds on the fruit machine, fifty on a sure-thing horse, a thousand on an investment that seems certain to pay out. Now he's been offered a huge opportunity, a chance to get in early with a new bank, and it looks like he'll finally have his big win. In search of more shade, we retreat to leafy Paddington Green, which comes with the added bonus of a grass sprinkler. I liked Khalid’s comparison of the Irish Catholics and Sufis as “their own little people”. An Irish pub seems an odd place for him to feel at home, but then he’s an odd sort of fellow. What a lovely debut! I was immediately hooked by a tale that I find hard to describe (and is probably why I enjoyed it so much). This is best described as a part character, part plot-driven mystery wrapped up in historical fiction.

Some books make you feel transported to another pace and another timeline, I felt like this while reading “Edgware Road”. Interesting and real it was not difficult to fall in love with the story of the Quraishi’s life. Yet it starts with a daughter hoping to meet a father who never appears and how we unravel where he went after he left his wife and daughter Alia. As the Arabic script sandwich boards and estate agent windows suggest, we are now entering what came to be known as 'Little Beirut'. Arabs have descended on Edgware Road since the end of the 19th century and have long since transformed it into one of central London's most characterful thoroughfares — an infinitely more interesting pavement to pound than nearby Oxford Street or Tottenham Court Road. Alia Quraishi is eleven years old, waiting to meet her father at the Edgware Road tube station, which is near where he now lives. Her parents are separated and this is her first time making the trip by herself. She loses her only coin in the payphone when she tries to call Mum. Is Khalid a small man thinking big or a big man in the making? Both, and all of it set up in that instance of fate; the rest unfolding as plot, not to be spoiled here.

Continuing on, it strikes us how handsome much of the architecture is along here. An art deco gem is now inhabited by a Waitrose. And to think this looks like it was once a grand theatre or cinema. We later discover it was a Woolworths. You might argue it's a classier joint than it ever was before. But I can assure you that it’s worth the read, even if the beginning seems slow paced is like a spider web that attracts you and you don’t know how to leave. And whilst this would be entirely possible with more economical prose, the magic behind Edgware Road is its brilliant writing style. It’s a real pleasure to read, which is why it’s frustrating that there isn’t more of it. That’s all interesting, but it was the characters of Khalid and Alia I enjoyed most, and the contrast between their generations and the cultures and how people mix – or not.

They and her grandmother are delighted to see her again. There are countless relatives at the party for her. She represents something. Khalid loves to gamble, and his faith in winning big tomorrow becomes a metaphor, perhaps for all of us deep down – isn’t sudden wealth one of the tropes of progress that we are all raised to? Are you worried about your wedding dress post D-day celebration in Edgware Road? If you are, then, the first thing that you need to do is calm down and sign up for wedding dress cleaning services in Edgware Road at Hello Laundry. The wedding dress dry cleaners of our platform will wash your wedding dress and remove all kinds of stains or marks with mild liquid detergent soap to make the bridal gown clean and tidy. However, the key difference here is that there are a large number of narrative threads opened by Khan, including Khalid’s involvement with the BCCI, Alia’s relationship with her family in Pakistan, Denby’s troubled home life – just to name a handful. These plot moments, amongst others, do not feel fully explored.

How We Works

The second timeline is set in 2003 and follows Alia Quraishi, Khalid’s daughter, as she is determined to find out what happened to her father in the late 80s when he just disappeared when she was just a little girl. Alia follows her faint memories of her father, which leads her to not only find out the destiny of her father but also allows her to explore her roots, her family relationships and herself. A wide-ranging and affecting debut novel about family and identity, from an award-winning historian.

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  • EAN: 764486781913
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