Bone and Bread

Front Cover
House of Anansi, Mar 15, 2013 - Fiction - 456 pages

Winner of the Quebec Writers' Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

Beena and Sadhana are sisters who share a bond that could only have been shaped by the most unusual of childhoods — and by shared tragedy. Orphaned as teenagers, they have grown up under the exasperated watch of their Sikh uncle, who runs a bagel shop in Montreal's Hasidic community of Mile End. Together, they try to make sense of the rich, confusing brew of values, rituals, and beliefs that form their inheritance. Yet as they grow towards adulthood, their paths begin to diverge. Beena catches the attention of one of the "bagel boys" and finds herself pregnant at sixteen, while Sadhana drives herself to perfectionism and anorexia.

When we first meet the adult Beena, she is grappling with a fresh grief: Sadhana has died suddenly and strangely, her body lying undiscovered for a week before anyone realizes what has happened. Beena is left with a burden of guilt and an unsettled feeling about the circumstances of her sister's death, which she sets about to uncover. Her search stirs memories and opens wounds, threatening to undo the safe, orderly existence she has painstakingly created for herself and her son.

Saleema Nawaz's characters compel us, intrigue us, and delight us with their raw, complicated humanity, and her sentences sing in the gorgeous cadences of a writer who chooses every word with the utmost care. Heralded across Canada for the power and promise of her debut collection, Mother Superior, Nawaz proves with Bone and Bread that she is one of our most talented and unique storytellers.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
4
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Carlathelibrarian - LibraryThing

This was a tough book to read. The story is told in flashbacks and Sadhana, one of the main characters has died. The main characters, Sadhana and Beena are sisters with the same birthdate, but born 2 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pgchuis - LibraryThing

Set mostly in Montreal, this novel tells the story of two sisters, Beena and Sadhana, who lose their (Sikh) father when they are infants and then their (hippie Irish American) mother when they are ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28
Section 29
Section 30
Section 31
Section 32
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Saleema Nawaz is the author of the short story collection Mother Superior, which was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Best First Book Prize. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Bibliographic information