Set in London now, Love Marriage marks the magnificent return of Monica Ali, the Booker Prize shortlisted, “splendid, daring, brilliant, refreshing” novelist (The New Republic) “with an inborn generosity that cannot be learned” (The New York Times Book Review).
Yasmin Ghorami in twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.
As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin’s relationship and that of her parents, a “love marriage,” according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.
A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a captivating social comedy and a profoundly moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another.
Monica Ali’s Brick Lane was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic.
About the Author
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.
Praise for Love Marriage
"Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose—they’re all here in this romp of a book."
“A novel with the richness, and the throng and press and hum of life itself, Love Marriage is bold, compassionate, big-hearted, pitch-perfectly written, and utterly unputdownable. Every single character lives and breathes on the page. Make time for all of them for they are going to take up residence in your mind and soul for a long, long time.”
—Neel Mukherjee, Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Lives of Others
“No one captures the modern family like Monica Ali—Love Marriage is a masterful cacophony of characters, all drawn with deep empathy and sharp insight. The novel is full of surprises and unexpected twists, with an ending that will take your breath away.”
—Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife
“I absolutely loved it. It had me gripped and I was so invested in her brilliant characters with their fallibilities and secrets! I empathized with every one of them and really felt I knew them all as individuals. I loved how she so cleverly interwove their experiences to create such a fabulous story. She writes human frailty so well, and her astute observations on family dynamics are superb. Exquisitely written with big heartedness, intelligence and passion. This will be a hit I have no doubt.”
—Ruth Jones, author of Never Greener
“Funny, warm, powerful... Love Marriage has a warm intelligence and a sharp observational power, making the characters and the world of the story feel very alive.”
—Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People
“A truly astonishing piece of writing—exquisite storytelling, featuring the most human portrayal of doctors I've ever read. I defy you to put this book down.”
—Adam Kay, bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt
“I have loved every one of Monica Ali's books and Love Marriage is her best. A huge, bounteous story, it is lit from end to end with human variety and storytelling brilliance. Ali writes like an angel who is not afraid of the devil. It will be a novel of the year and confirms Monica Ali as a national treasure.”
—Andrew O'Hagan, author of Mayflies
“This is such a gloriously vibrant and tender novel packed with wit, intelligence and wisdom. It has everything - clashing cultures, family rifts, suppressed addictions, desire, passion. Her two junior doctor protagonists are superbly drawn - flawed, courageous, flailing, human. Just brilliant.”
—Rachel Clarke, author of Breathtaking
“I absolutely loved Love Marriage. It's a story about love and family, about despair and forgiveness, about trauma and recovery, about expectation and responsibility, about friendship and community. Mostly, it's about having the courage to lose yourself, in order to find yourself again. It's big-hearted and tender and it's a novel that cares about its characters so deeply that you will too.”
—Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You
“I loved Love Marriage, and looked forward to reading it every night. Funny, compassionate, sexy, romantic, beautifully plotted and richly peopled, it is both highly original and working within a literary tradition of novels about love and marriage. Above all it is about the way that individuals are a mystery to each other, and themselves, wounding and misunderstanding each other, yet also about how, with patience and kindness, we can change for the better.”
—Amanda Craig, author of The Golden Rule
“Through the construct of a marriage, Monica Ali imagines complex modern lives tip-toeing around and defying each other's sensitivities in a warm, affectionate and hilarious novel. Love Marriage is every bit as compelling, as charming as Brick Lane. A joyous novelist at the peak of her formidable powers writing fresh lives into our literary tradition.”
—Daljit Nagra, author of Look We Have Coming To Dover!
“I tore through Love Marriage. An engrossing read... Such a brilliant portrayal of how we can't help but be mortified by the ones we love, no matter how much we hate ourselves for it. Even in the characters' darkest and most desperate moments there is warmth - they're not perfect but you root for them all the same. I enjoyed my time peeking into their lives - and was happy to see everybody exactly where they should be (for better or worse) when it came time to leave them.”
—Justin Myers, author of The Magnificent Sons
Praise for Monica Ali and Brick Lane
“Brick Lane is deeply rewarding... a popular success fueled by a critical one...One feels the enabling weight of the 19th century, of a history of novels about people cut off from their origins, adrift in Europe’s great cities... Monica Ali... has an inborn generosity that cannot be learned.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Splendid... Daring... Brilliant... Refreshing... Intensely gripping and involving...The power of Ali’s book is the way in which it charts its heroine’s slow accumulation of English, her gathering confidence as a mother and a wife, and the undulations of her marriage to a man whom she eventually learns to respect and perhaps even to love... Brick Lane is a great achievement of the subtlest storytelling.” —The New Republic
“A genuinely moving portrait ... Brick Lane manages to do many of the things that fiction does best.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Ali’s sharp-witted tale explores the immigrant’s dilemma of belonging... In Ali’s subtle narration, Nazneen’s mixture of traditionalism and adaptability, of acceptance and restlessness, emerges as a quiet strength.” —The New Yorker
“In a first novel of surprising sophistication and assurance, Ali treats potentially heavy-handed themes with both grace and thoughtfulness.” —Entertainment Weekly
“This confident first novel reveals how change can take root slowly and firmly, even in the most reticent of hearts.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Brick Lane... establishes Ali as a writer of real literary depth and dimension. There is an elegance and a steadfast, patient, careful construction of observed detail to this prose, a meticulous layering of character and social observation that endows Brick Lane with a sophistication and maturity that might surprise readers who’ve come to expect flash and dash in modern fiction.” —The Nation
“Exciting and timely... Brick Lane is a serious work in the best sense of the term. It has weight, purpose and passion.” —The Miami Herald
“Monica Ali is prodigiously talented.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Enthralling...Brick Lane creates full-blown characters in intricate relationships, developed patiently over time...Monica Ali knows the human heart.” —BookPage
“A knockout.” —W
“Ali succeeds brilliantly in presenting the besieged humanity of people living hard, little-known lives on the margins of a rich, self-absorbed society.” —The New York Review of Books