Pashmina - Nidhi Chanani

Date Published: October 3, 2017

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: September 17, 2019



Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.




Browsing my library's graphic novel section, I came upon this book and the cover was too cute to pass up. I read it while daughter was at dance class and son was at soccer practice and finished it before bedtime routines, so it is a short but great story. 


Pri is 15 and has a loving if at times frustrating relationship with her mother, an immigrant from India. Pri wants to know who and where she comes home apart from her American-ness. A special shawl hidden in a suitcase is discovered by Pri, who puts it on and is transported to a (for lack of a better description) "tourist brochure" version of India except for this shadow following her. A chance opportunity to visit India and her mother's family gives Pri the answers she was looking for and then some. This real world visit isn't as clean and colorful as the trips via the shawl, but Pri gets a much more wider understanding of her heritage and doesn't feel knowing the grimier parts lessens her desire to know more. The different color schemes really help give each setting and time in Pri's journey in knowing her heritage. The magical realism and the shadow/ghost made it perfect reading for Halloween Bingo.