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The Wish Maker
Author: Ali Seth

Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780670082537
Pages: 416
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"Zaki Shirazi returns to Lahore to celebrate the wedding of his cousin and childhood companion Samar Api (who has finally, it seems, found her Amitabh). Home is not what it used to be; Musharraf is in power, there has been a boom, and Lahore seems to have seen ‘too much too soon’. Zaki’s estrangement, amidst the flurry of wedding preparations in the house he grew up in, takes him back to his past: his childhood as a fatherless boy growing up in a household of outspoken women, and his and Samar’s intertwined journeys from youth to adulthood.

As children, they often attended dangerous political protests with Zaki’s journalist mother. Surrounded by the mysterious talk of adults, only Zaki seemed to share his older cousin’s yearning for the perfect world. Inspired by American soaps and Bollywood films that they watched together, their world held the promise of all sorts of forbidden love. Then, when Zaki supports one of Samar’s romantic schemes, the family suffers the disastrous consequences. But as his fate diverges from Samar’s, he comes to understand the world around him better, and to cherish the bonds that survive the tugs of convention, time and history."