Saturday, 21 March 2020

#BlogTour To Lahore, With Love by Hina Belitz

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour To Lahore, With Love by Hina Belitz. It's a fantastic read.
About the Author
Hina Belitz is an author and renowned equal rights lawyer. Born in Pakistan to an Indian father and a mother of Iranian, Afghan and Indian descent, Belitz was brought up in Hampshire – a place starkly different to her parent’s home city of Lahore, and where she was the only Asian person in her school.

Her debut novel, Set Me Free, was critically acclaimed and led to her being interviewed by Morgan Freeman and starring in a National Geographic documentary about love. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the Guardian and the BBC.

A lot of the narrative in To Lahore, With Love has its roots in Hina's own life experience, she can write pieces on: Normalising Asian stories, food and identity, diversity in literature, careers and women, surviving heartbreak, fertility and growing up in the English countryside, amongst other topics.

Follow @Hina_Belitz on Twitter, on GoodreadsBuy To Lahore with Love

About the book
Addy Mayford has always struggled with her identity. Brought up in a household of stories, food and faith by her Irish mother and Pakistani Nana, she feels constantly torn between the two sides of her upbringing. Since the death of her father, she's found contentment cooking delicious recipes from his home city of Lahore, despite the protestations of her mother that being a chef is no career for a young woman. It's only with the love of her gorgeous husband, Gabe, that she's truly found happiness.

When Addy stumbles across a secret that shatters her entire world, she desperately needs to escape and is drawn to the sights of Lahore and the family she's never known. Waiting for her there is Addy's final acceptance of who she is, and a long-buried family secret that will change her life for ever.

I loved the emotion that emanated from this story. You can feel it in every word and especially in every recipe. Addy is a young woman who has her feet in two worlds at the same time. She balances the boundaries between the two, and often has to deal with the racism that comes with one part of her identity and heritage.

The concept of food or recipes dropped intermittently into a story isn't a new one per se, however the way this author does it makes it an integral part of the dialogue and tale. The food is the way Addy communicates with her internal and external worlds. Each problem or situation has a culinary explosion of the senses as a solution.

Each interaction with her Nana is embedded with the richness of prayer, faith and the magic of food. Something she falls back on when her marriage falls apart. Lost in depression and desperate for her old life she travels to the homeland of her father to gain some perspective.

It's a contemporary cultural read - a story about identity and family. It has an Eat, Love, Pray vibe but without the sanctimony of white privilege. Instead it's a culturally rich story about a woman who lives in two worlds with a part of her soul in each. When she steps from her everyday life into her Nana's world of Lahore everything she knows to be true is suddenly thrown into disarray.

Belitz infuses this story with such an incredibly strong feeling of love, not just a love of food, but with love in general. It truly is one of those reads you walk away from with something tucked away forever in the back of your mind. Belitz is an amazingly insightful writer, who has filled this book with a part of her own soul. It's a beautifully crafted cultural read about magic, food and family.

Buy To Lahore with Love at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Headline; pub date 19th March 2019 | Paperback | £8.99 - eBook out 19.03.2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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