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Book review: Love Marriage by Monica Ali

I love being immersed in a family’s life – whether it is in one of Ann Patchett’s all-American family saga or a tale of childhood poverty in one of Douglas Stuart’s novels.

And I can’t resist Monica Ali’s insight into life for Indian families in England, Brick Lane and now Love Marriage.

Love Marriage tells the story of a young doctor, Yasmin, who is set to marry another doctor, Joe, who come from very different families – one a traditional Indian family and another a highly progressive one.

In the novel, all preconceptions about the families and individuals within them are challenged, with an exploration of trauma, addiction and, most obviously, the convention of marriage.

I love how the personalities of the family members shone through in the story, from Yasmin’s brother, who struggles to find direction in life, to her mother who is, on the surface, a loyal and religious wife, but whose story is far more complex.

Joe also has an interesting family, particularly his extremely open-minded mother, whose openness about her sexuality and adoration of her son creates an unusual and unsettling family dynamic.

I’ll be waiting impatiently to read whatever Monica Ali releases next, with fingers crossed it will be another gently funny and poignant family saga.


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