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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Other Half of Happiness - Ayisha Malik

I have always been a little weary of sequels as I feel my expectations are always greater if the first book has been a great read. ‘The Other Half of Happiness’ by Ayisha Malik is a sequel to ‘Sofia Khan is Not Obliged’ and Malik doesn’t disappoint. Through this book, Malik has attempted to address not just the challenges of a cross-cultural marriage but marriage as a whole. She has also brought to light the issues faced by diverse writers in the publishing world though I would have liked to read more about this. This time round, the protagonist Sofia Khan is tasked with writing a book about Muslim marriage and the story is interspersed with Sofia’s notes for this book. One note that I found to be truly heart warming is “Count every lucky star you have – they will come in the shape of friends you love”. The reader is also privy to excerpts from the draft of her book so these combined with the notes provide an effective parallel to the plot. Malik’s characteristic humorous style of writ…

Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma

I was delighted to receive this book for review from Penguin UK. Having grown up with memories of the Penguin logo in almost every bookshop I visited, it felt wonderful to be recognised as a reviewer by this world renowned publishing house. 'Flesh and Bone and Water' has nothing to do with South Asia. However, the commonality it shares with the region is that it is set in Brazil, a place that is often referred to as also being part of the 'third world' group of nations. "It's easy to leave a place when you're young. Coming back is harder. That's my advice : stay where you are." And so begins this beautiful novel which I would term as part coming of age and part an immigrant's journey from Brazil to Londres (London). More importantly why does the protagonist Andre venture back on a journey to his childhood home? The author Luiza Sauma has very poignantly narrated the story in first person so it feels like Andre is telling you his own story. You…

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged - Ayisha Malik

Have you heard about the Poppy Loves Bookclub? If not, go check them out! I first learnt of ‘Sofia Khan is Not Obliged’ via the book club’s Instagram feed and the cover page and plot summary instantly piqued my curiosity.

I have always been intrigued by immigrant stories and cross-cultural influences and Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was right up my street! This is not your typical serious sounding novel. It is full of humour and some may even class it as a ‘romantic comedy’. I loved the protagonist Sofia Khan who is a first generation British Pakistani living with her parents and sister in London.

Sofia works at a media/publishing firm and is somehow (perhaps because of her “diverse” profile) is asked by her boss to write a book about the Muslim dating scene! And here starts Sofia’s journey to find stories for her book.

Sofia has a tight knit group of girlfriends who clearly provide her with strong emotional support. Her relationship with her older sister and parents is very endearing. Wh…