A smart young Muslim Canadian woman navigates the complexities of career, love, and family in this lively homage to a Jane Austen classic. “While it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there’s an even greater truth: To his Indian mother, his own inclinations are of secondary importance.” With that nod to Pride and Prejudice firmly in place, Jalaluddin lays the groundwork for a raucous story that mixes a zany cast of characters with a tightly wound plot.
I enjoyed this book more than I initially thought I would. As a Pride and Prejudice retelling, I loved that it followed along enough so that I had ‘aha!’ moments, but was different enough that it was its own story and I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next.
My favorite thing about this book was that it made me realize that the *large* majority of what I read is dominated by either American or British caucasians. Had it not been a P&P retelling, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. This book helped open my eyes to see the many stereotypes and assumptions we make about this people group (most of which are based off of the tiny percent of Muslims who get featured in the news). It gave me a new appreciation for their history, religion, and especially their food (on this note, I loved that a recipe was included at the end).
There were only a couple of cautionary things – there is a reference to an abortion and an ‘ethnic porn’ site, and some lewd comments are made about women by some secondary characters (all of which are portrayed in a negative light). Other than this, some of the language gets colorful at times.
Overall, it was a fun read that was enjoyable while teaching me about a new culture.