Book Group: The July choice - Maps for Lost Lovers, by Nadeem Aslam

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The Independent Culture

Is it worth the wait? For me, absolutely: this is a book made radiant by its linguistic glory, and solid by its emotional gravitas. The plot unfolds over one year, each season sketched with painterly skill, among the Pakistani community of a northern town. These are not the metropolitan sophisticates of much "multi-cultural" British fiction, but poor, often vulnerable migrants and their children, still yoked to home by family and faith.

Jugdu and his lover Chanda have gone missing. Other family members painfully uncover the hows and the whys both of the disappearance, and the tensions that lie behind it. But does Aslam over-write, as some critics thought? And does the resolution of the mystery confirm some false ideas about British Muslims? Please let us know - and don't delay.

'Maps for Lost Lovers' by Nadeem Aslam, Faber (£7.99)