Love Marriage
by Ali, Monica






"Yasmin Ghorami is twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father) and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose domineering mother, Helen, is a famous feminist. Though both Yasmin's parents and Joe's mother approveof the marriage, the cultural gulf between them is vast as, it turns out, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe. The novel opens as Yasmin, her parents and her brother pile into their car, packed with Indian food prepared by Yasmin's mother, to go to dinner to meet Joe's mother in her elegant townhouse in one of London's poshest neighborhoods. Contrary to all of Yasmin's fears, her unsophisticated and somewhat flamboyant mother is embraced and celebrated by Helen and her friends. Many complications ensue when Yasmin discovers that Joe has had an affair with a co-worker, and Yasmin's ne'er do well brother is banished from the house by her father, and Yasmin's mother moves to Helen's house in protest. Love Marriage is a story of emotionally fraught self-discovery and how the secrets people keep hidden affect their most intimate relationships. Joe hides the exact nature of his promiscuous past; Yasmin's brother and mother keep a monumental secret from their father; Yasmin has a wildly erotic affair of her own; and the story of her parents' love marriage proves to be a cover-up for a dark, tragic history. In the wake of extreme upheaval, Yasmin finds herself, and her life, transformed"-





Monica Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and grew up in England. She was named one of the 20 best young British novelists under 40 by Granta. She is the author of four previous novels, including Untold Story and Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Guardian Book Prize, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named a winner of the 2003 Discover Award for Fiction and a New York Times Editors' Choice Book that same year. She lives in London with her husband and two children.





"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." The opening sentence from Anna Karenina might equally apply to the particular brand of dysfunction that Ali (Untold Story, 2011) explores in this colorful tale of strained relationships. The story opens in media res with doctor-in-training Yasmin Ghorami getting ready for her wedding to Joe Sangster, a fellow professional at a London hospital. But first the parents must meet. Yasmin worries that Joe's mother, a sexually liberated firecracker of a feminist, is sure to upset the conservative Ghoramis. The cascading sequence of incidents from this first parental meet-and-greet steamrolls over both families and exposes decades-old secrets. Ali's strength lies in exploring the many ways in which class complications manifest-Yasmin's immigrant doctor father, Shoukat, worries about his own humble upbringing while frowning upon his son's relationship with Lucy, a receptionist. The finale is rich, bawdy, and bold, a dramatization of the many ways we fail those closest to us and build lives on shifting sediments of buried feelings. And yet we live for love. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





Two London families-one Bengali, one White-collide spectacularly when their two eldest children decide to marry. Yasmin Ghorami is a people-pleaser. At 26, doing what others expect is so ingrained in her that when her younger brother, Arif, asks her what she hoped to do before she became a doctor like their father, she can't even remember if she ever had separate dreams of her own. She follows the rules of her family and her faith. She still lives with her parents and Arif in London, but not for long: She's about to be married to Joe Sangster, a fellow doctor. Her parents, both Muslims with differing degrees of religiosity, thwarted tradition and married for love, and Yasmin is convinced that marrying Joe is her own romantic destiny. As the wedding plans coalesce, Yasmin has to deal with her future mother-in-law, Harriet, a Gloria Steinem-esque figure who is one of the leading feminist writers and thinkers in England. Harriet's urbane, liberal fetishizing of Yasmin's family-especially her homemaker mother-is a destabilizing influence, as is Harriet's possessive relationship with Joe. Then there's Arif's aimlessness and his increasing awareness of the racism, both blatant and microaggressive, in his and Yasmin's daily lives. Yasmin looks to Joe for stability, but he's got secrets of his own. Before long, Yasmin is forced to reexamine the foundations of her whole life before the cracks threaten to bring everything she knows crumbling down. Ali's immersive novel, skipping deftly between several points of view, might be termed a comedy of manners of Britain's urban middle class, but the comedy here has teeth: Though the book treats its characters with affection, the racial dynamics are conveyed with real, heart-rending bite. A keen look at London life, relationships (especially interracial ones)-and a return to Ali's most celebrated territory. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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