The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
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Featured on The Thread: 'The Parted Earth' traces the impact of India's partition across generations
The story begins in August 1947. Unrest plagues the streets of New Delhi leading up to the birth of the Muslim majority nation of Pakistan, and the Hindu majority nation of India. Sixteen-year-old Deepa navigates the changing politics of her home, finding solace in messages of intricate origami from her secret boyfriend Amir. Soon Amir flees with his family to Pakistan and a tragedy forces Deepa to leave the subcontinent forever.
The story also begins sixty years later and half a world away, in Atlanta. While grieving both a pregnancy loss and the implosion of her marriage, Deepa’s granddaughter Shan begins the search for her estranged grandmother, a prickly woman who had little interest in knowing her. As she pieces together her family history shattered by the Partition, Shan discovers how little she actually knows about the women in her family and what they endured.
For readers of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, The Parted Earth follows Shan on her search for identity after loss uproots her life. Above all, it is a novel about families weathering the lasting violence of separation, and how it can often takes a lifetime to find unity and peace.