Tarika Chari
THE MAGICAL WOODS by Saman Shamsie. Illustrated by Shirley Chiang Oxford University Press, 2017, 300 pp., 00.00
November 2017, volume 41, No 11

The magical woods comprises two separate yet intertwined fantasy stories of 2 children who have lost hope, and enter a forest.

When Hina lost her father, she lost her mother, house and her way of life. Her great aunt who was her caretaker died soon thereafter and she ended up in a forest, where she made friends with a cat. Soon she befriended a farming family living near the forest. She stayed and worked for them. she found a new family and discovered a talent for speaking with animals and her love to help them.

In the second story Hussein has a talent for carving wood. He leaves his family behind to pursue his passion. But as he grows in his skills he misses his family. He and his folks grow old and tired. He decides to go back to them, but cannot find them.

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