Through ten decades and across three continents, The Ash Museum is an intergenerational story of loss, migration and the search for somewhere to feel at home.
1944. The Battle of Kohima. James Ash dies leaving behind two families: his ‘wife’ Josmi and two children, Jay and Molly, and his parents and sister in England who know nothing about his Indian family.
2012. Emmie is raising her own daughter, Jasmine, in a world she wants to be very different from the racist England of her childhood. Her father, Jay, doesn’t even have a photograph of the mother he lost and still refuses to discuss his life in India. Emmie finds comfort in the local museum – a treasure trove of another family’s stories and artefacts.
Little does Emmie know that with each generation, her own story holds secrets and fascinations that she could only dream of.
Welcome to The Ash Museum. On display are objects and letters telling the story of one hundred years of the Ash family.
(@legend_times, 3 May 2021, 339 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 17 May)
This is a new author for me. I really loved The Ash Museum and might check out the author’s other work. I loved the unusual structure used in this novel about racism, identity, family and a multi-generation saga, presenting experiences of two branches of the Ash family as if they are exhibits in a museum. To be clear, the memories aren’t in a museum in case you wondered but are presented as if they are. I thought this was unusual and quirky and I loved the way it helped the book unfold. The chapters alternate between one hundred years but the main focus in 1944 to the present. I loved the way the story unwinds as we get to know members of the Ash family and their experiences and how they all connect. I really loved this book.