Review of "Guns and Saffron" by Alif - Two Muslim young men in India have to choose for goodness or for illegal things

Someone I know is from Pakistan and is always spewing hatred about India. And although I understand the background - his family lost all during the Partition and was kicked out of India - I once told him I was sick of hearing that and he had to stop. But with this in mind and as I had liked the first novel by Alif a lot I picked up this novel to read and review.

The novel is about two young Muslim men who grow up in predominantly Hindu India and that is definitely not easy. While one is nurtured in a poor but loving environment (a loving grandmother, a caring Christian boss, a motherly Sikh cook), the other is raised by a terrorist uncle in a world of violence. One part of the story full of goodness and love and makes you smile, the other so sad you want to cry. But the author makes it clear that environment will form you but still one has one's own will to choose what road to take in life.

The characters - even the minor ones - are very three-dimensional. 

Large parts of the story read like reading a history book or attending a lecture about Indian politics. So you really need to be interested in that.. Speaking for myself I thought it an interesting read.

I will recommend it to my Pakistani friend.

Pub Date: 30 Jan 2020. Very low-priced!

4 stars out of 5

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