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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2017
I was immediately transported to the small village in Pakistan. The characters were real, and you immediately became attached to them, and wanted their lives to turn out well. I highly recommend this book, as it has a bit of everything we crave for in a good read. Romance, history, tension, drama, and even some laughter. A must read.
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on 25 August 2013
Excellent sequel to the wonderful Holy Woman, Typhoon reveals more secrets and histories of people in the same village. By now you think you know most of the characters but there is layers and layers more!
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on 9 June 2015
Loved it!
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on 29 September 2003
Finishing Typhoon was a wrenching experience as I began to care for all the characters of Chiragpur. Oddly, it reminded one of Hardy's Tess, but the canvas of Typhoon is much wider. There are several strong heroines here all wanting salvation, to be forgiven and cleansed.
The male characters are also strong. E. M. Forster will call them round characters – characters which change all the time.
The setting of Chiraghpur is beautiful, alive. One sees all the houses, streets, and the Kacheri through the author’s eyes. The effect is cinematic.
It is a beautiful tale steeped in innocence. This innocence provides the spiritual chiaroscuro for the plot. As a result, Islam beams through the characters in the most benign light. There's no fanaticism, no bigotry. All religious rituals and symbols come out as vehicles for transcending oneself, doing what is best for others. It is a noble, caring world.
After the first, horrendous, but unintentional, mistake, the whole cast of characters and the village convulse into shame and repentance and pine for penance. In this day and age of cynicism, marriage is portrayed as a genuine union of the souls.
The power of the story is captured by small, fast moving scenes. For instance, after the sad and humiliating departure of Naghmana from the village, Fatimah drops parcels of her niece’s hair at her tormentors' homes. That moment alone combines height of pathos, self-flagellation, and a passive revenge appealing to the highest norms of human behaviour.
The dialogue is very fully interactive. One gets fully immersed into the conversations of the characters, with vivid scenes and visual imagery reinforcing a free flow of the dialogue. Men and women are skilfully cascaded into their surroundings.
The author has told a compelling story touching on some of the most talked about themes in Pakistan, the UK, and in the US. Her mastery of the craft comes through each page.
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on 7 April 2003
The book starts and ends in the present day, but the main story covers a period of just 2-3 days that occurred twenty years ago. The plot centres around a discovery, and the momentum of that discovery, that slowly but ruthlessly forces itself upon several households in the village. The climax, the "eye of the storm" creates an outwardly calm, superior, "decent-thing-to-do outcome, yet it is staggering, shocking and ultimately life-altering for more than the protagonists.
The sub-plot brings with it the brooding romantic figure of Younnis Raes but there is nothing flowery or sweet about the object of his unrequited attentions, and is a story that is just compelling.
It is difficult to say very much about the story without giving away the plot. The tragedies are so well-written that you will enjoy gasping in disbelief all the more if you are unaware of the broader story, and smiling wryly at the gossip-mongering.
For fans of "the Holy Woman", in mentioning its heroines it allows us to shut the door on Chiragpur knowing that all is well with them.
"Typhoon" is another hugely engrossing, unputdownable books from one of Britain's best female Asian writers.
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on 10 October 2003
I finished Holy Woman and Typhoon. I thoroughly enjoyed both books. I think my favourite character has to be that great survivor, Kulsoom! Qaisra Shahraz powerfully conveys the frustrations and sheer miseries of lives constrained by outworn traditions. The way she portrays the particular context in which this kind of suffering occurs (universal in many ways) is wonderfully vivid. I felt I was there in the village, and elsewhere, with the characters; such insight into, and sympathy for, each of them, too. She deftly explains certain specific cultural terms so that the reader unfamiliar with the culture is not excluded. Quite the opposite. Thank you for a great read!
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on 12 October 2013
Just such a brilliant second book to holy woman. Just to hear some small parts of how the characters progress yet knowing their past.
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on 8 November 2013
Having read and loved Holy Woman I had to go on and read the sequel Typhoon. Both books paint an intimate picture of life and culture in Pakistan. The characters are very real, full of human failings as well as qualities. The books are feminist in the sense that the woman's plight is at the centre of the plots and the characterisation of the female characters is highly developed and very sensitively exposed, ranging from wealthy and educated women to more lowly characters. The effects of the patriarchal culture on the happiness of the characters is explored. The books are exciting to read and not easy to put down!
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on 17 September 2003
I have just finished reading Typhoon and would like to congratulate the author for producing another fantastic writing acheivement after The Holy Woman.

I was so engrossed by the lives and turmoil of the characters lives I cried and smiled openly. The author brought her characters to life by providing a look inside their very souls and the anguish they suffered.

I would like the author to know that I really appreciate her writing and look forward to her future works.
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on 22 August 2013
Qaisra Shahraz, has once again wowed her readers with her second novel Typhoon and has become one of Britain's leading authors. Typhoon, although not a direct sequel to her previous novel: The Holy Woman, tells the gripping story of three women. Once again Qaisra Shahraz has taken some of the fascinating characters from her earlier book and developed them in a truly excellent way. One character in particular is the proud queen of the village Chaudharani Kaniz. She has become one of the most interesting characters in both books. We thought we knew her well in The Holy Woman it is not until Typhoon that we really understand this wonderful complex woman. Once again Qaisra Shahraz takes us on a wonderful exotic journey opening up the world of Pakistan to both the Western and Asian reader. You don't need to travel to that country because its heat and passion both spring out of the pages of these wonderful books.
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