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Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam
Maps for Lost Lovers is set in a Pakistani community in an unnamed English town. Shamas, a social worker, has no need for Islamic orthodoxy. His wife, Kaukub, knows no other way, and her religious fervor has driven all their children away. Shamas' brother has fallen in love with a woman who has been divorced and abandoned by her husbands. When the lovers move in together, they're found murdered by her brothers to protect the family honour because she was living in sin. Maps for Lost Lovers takes place in the next 12 months after the murders, highlighting the claustrophobic society and clash of liberation versus old traditions and hatreds. Nadeem Aslam's novel has received mostly positive reviews with The Independent saying, "Maps for Lost Lovers is a filigree of quests for loves that never were, of passions cut short and of romances that are about to be. Like Aslam, I was heartbroken when the dense, dark tapestry was finished, and perhaps like him too, completely and utterly exhausted."