Secrets of the Kashmir Valley

A Story of Love, Loss and Courage

Non-Fiction - Womens
176 Pages
Reviewed on 07/24/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Munir Muhammad for Readers' Favorite

In Secrets of the Kashmir Valley by American scholar Farhana Qazi, the author tells an unforgettable true story. It is about the women of the Kashmir Valley as peaceful protestors, political activists, and the prime victims of a brutal war. It is a place of great beauty and immense tragedy. It is also described as Paradise on Earth. But in this land of magic and myth, some madmen and militaries trample on Kashmir’s beauty. Kashmir is in the midst of an active conflict, unsettling and unpredictable. It is not about the politics of war, but the people living inside it. It shares the true, emotional, personal stories of women who struggle, sacrifice and survive against all odds. Every day, someone dies, someone is detained or someone disappears. After seven decades of war, Kashmiris go on living. They go to school. They fall in love. They get married. Many have children. They do what seems normal, despite the protests, politics, and paranoia of living in a place that is not free.

Secrets of the Kashmir Valley is a brilliant book that describes the author’s unique personal observations with a deep knowledge of the region, its people, and its culture to describe Kashmir. The author's bravery, open-mindedness, intelligence, and tenacity take her into danger, real lives, and raw emotions during her journey. It is a very daring story and the style of writing creates ample awareness of what is happening in Kashmir. It gives one the ability to sense other people's emotions and imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Farhana Qazi's writing style is profound and provides insights into the veil of Kashmir. It gives a heart-breaking reminder that military occupation must end to allow the Kashmiri people to be free. It is so compelling that readers will end up reading the entire book in one sitting. This is a story that must be read by those who wish to understand the role of women in one of Asia’s longest-running wars, almost seven decades, and the motivations, lives, and thoughts of the women in Kashmir.