“Aslam is such a gifted writer. The delicate physicality of his language makes one engage with every word … [an] urgent, undeniably passionate and wayward novel.”



Just finished The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam. The story takes place in Pakistan.  It is the story of Massud and his wife Nargis who live in a community of Muslims that surround a smaller community of Christians. Their Christian neighbors, Lily a widowed father and his daughter Helen are considered part of their family.

The tension in the community is high as the Muslims do not want the Christians to be among them. An attempted  assassination of an American by some locals goes wrong and the assassins are killed by their target.

Massud, who is at the scene at the time of the attempt is hit by a stray bullet and is also killed.  Politics comes into play when the Pakistani Government wants to release the American while the public wants him executed. As tensions continue to rise announcements are being made daily from the local minaret telling of sinful secrets being committed by members of the community. Mobs are ready to take justice in their own hands.  And our two families each harbor a secret, which if found out, would prove fatal to those involved.  One secret should have been revealed a long time ago, and the other never should have happened. Both secrets involve love, one of which is doomed to disaster.

This is a terrific story. At 320 pages it is a comfortable length, Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 15th July 2017

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Richard Franco