The myth about Pandora’s Box, has many meanings and many interpretations, which mostly to do with being careful what you ask for and getting answers, you may not want. In truth life has many twists and turns, and facing those hard truths is, in the vein of Pandora’s Box. Family secrets as well, can be part of Pandora’s Box, as some secrets are buried deep. I bring this up, because I recently heard the mention of Jack Nicholson’s family story.
This is where he found out his Mom is really his grandmother and his sister is his actual birth mother, and is the inspiration for the new Disney show, Andi Mack. As you get older, the longer these types of questions go unanswered, the more encumbered you are by not knowing. You mix that with teenage angst, and you have a thoroughly confused and emotional young adult. In Pashmina, Nidhi Chanani explores these complexities along with being a child of an immigrant and being a child of a single mother.
In this book, we meet Priyanka, a bright young Indian American teenager, who has a talent for drawing and has a deeply religious mother, who worries too much for her, much like most mothers, where the question that has haunted her more than anything is who is her father, a question that her mother never answers and always changes the subject once it is brought up. Her talent leads her to win a cartoon contest, which her teacher, Mr. Perry encouraged her to enter. Her whole world changes one afternoon once she finds a forgotten suitcase, with some old pictures and a pashmina, which once she wraps herself in it, instantly transports her to a magical version of India, where she meets Mayur, a talking elephant and a Kanta, a talking bird. The pashmina, ended up being a vessel for all the women in this family, a way to escape, a way to truth. By book’s end, Priyanka had to find herself by going to India, meeting her aunt, and finding the truth that binds her, her aunt and her mother.
Overall, an excellent book that shows how family secrets can have power over your relationships, especially familial. The story by Chanani is heartfelt, engaging, and lighthearted at the most unexpected times. The art by Chanani, is deeply alluring, vibrant and stunning. Altogether, a universal story that teaches us that ultimately love is supreme over all.
Story: Nidhi Chanani Art: Nidhi Chanani
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy