Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Title: Ayesha at Last
Author: Uzma Jalaluddin
Year Published: 2018


Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 346
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map): Canada

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Ayesha Shamsi has  lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside fo ra teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices, and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

Review: It's always nice to read a book about a culture that is different from my own and this one did that well. Ayesha is Muslim and living in Toronto, Canada so that two cultures that aren't mine. And it's a modern day Pride and Prejudice so that's fun.

I have really not read much lately so it took me a while to get into this book, but this weekend I was all in. I smiled, laughed, and yes, got a little teary at the end. All the things i want from a book. 

I like both Ayesha and Khalid even if they are frustrating (it is Pride and Prejudice, after all). And I really wanted them to end up together. The large supporting cast is full of interesting characters, some of whom I was rooting for and others that I loved to hate. I also liked that the author didn't give us flat and stereotypical characters; they were a mixed bag of people who interpreted their religion and culture in various ways, which is how life is.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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