Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brick Lane

I'd always heard good things about Brick Lane by Monica Ali and had been wanting to read it for a few years now. It's the story of two Bangladeshi sisters, Nazneen, who is sent to England for an arranged marriage to an older man and Hasina, who is left behind to fend for herself in her own country. The story is told from Nazneen's perspective, with letters from Hasina that allow us to see her life. Nazneen's philosophy about life can be summed up as "what will be, will be", like she doesn't have the power to change anything for herself. Through her seeming inaction, she settles into life in London with her family and then gets pulled into an affair with a younger man who is on the path to becoming a radical Islamic fundamentalist.

This is a richly written novel, with some really lovely and unexpected descriptive moments, like when Nazneen sees figure skating on television for the first time. Best of all, the author manages to use little details to make you feel empathy for certain characters who might be otherwise foolish, mean, or just generally unlikeable.

1 comment:


Related Posts with Thumbnails