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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 4 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.5 out of 5
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    A very refreshing read

    I was intrigued by the book cover, very simple but a great depiction of a Muslim female which is in itself a rare but very welcome sight on a mainstream book cover. The blurb made the story sound very accessible and it did not fail to deliver. It is a very down to earth story of a Canadian community and in particular some of the Muslim families within it as well as some non Muslim side characters who compliment the story well. It’s very respectfully written but gives numerous insights into Muslim life with a particular focus on the wedding culture. It gives a good balance of traditional and modern and the attitudes of both inside and outside of the community. This is a really enjoyable book to read and long overdue. I hope future books by this author will be forthcoming.
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    Enjoyable read on the world of arranged marriages

    As a fellow Muslim, I can relate to most parts of the story. Love the character transition to demonstrate the width and beauty of the religion.
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    Warm and Funny

    This novel is very much an Islamic take on Pride and Pejudice (in fact Jane Austen's novel gets a couple of name checks throughout). It has everything you would expect from that analogy - the (truth universally acknowledged) search for a life partner, the struggles of class, the place of a woman in the world and rather than a sisterly struggle to the altar there are the battling cousins. Told with a wit and warmth that brings the characters alive on the page it wasn't until a few days after completing this book that I actually realised the parallels. You very quickly get drawn in to the world that Ayesha and Khalid inhabit and find yourself firmly rooting for both characters. Ayesha, herself, is a very modern woman with her school teaching career and desire to be a poet. Despite being relatively young she feels that she is somewhat on the shelf having reached 27 without a sniff of marriage. The conflict she feels about this is clear, but she isn't really sure that an arranged marriage is for her and is unsure about how to go about the world of dating. Khalid is very sure about arranged marriage and, as a devout Muslim, he is more than happy to allow his mother to find his wife for him. Indeed, it is his very devoutness that causes him problems - from his clothing, his beard, down to his refusal to shake hands with women. Each character in the book is rich and detailed. Unfortunately this holds as true for the self-centred Hafsa and the extremely dodgy Tarek as it does for Ayesha and Khalid. Even supplemental characters are given flesh on their literary bones. Couple this with a strong plot that covers everything about the arranged marriage system, immigration issues and the ways in which Religion can impact life; there is a lot going on in this book. But you never feel like you are outside the lives of Ayesha and Khalid, in fact you revel in them. The writing itself is warm and invites you in to this Desi world and makes you desperately want to stay for at least a cup of chai and a paratha. The dialogue between characters is warm and feels real - from awkward encounters to teasing exchanges they all sing off the page with a distinct whiff of veracity. This is definitely an author to watch! THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE
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