Skip to main content

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 writing is prominent throughout the narrative. Take for example this scene at Sofia’s wedding “Aunty number thirty three was putting an envelope in Conall’s hands before walking to me and asking the cameraman to take a photo. ‘Congratulations, Beta’, she said. Then she looked over at Conall and said ‘Goray jism ka maza lena’ What is wrong with aunties?. Having had a big South Asian wedding myself and dealing with a cackle of aunties, I found myself keeling over in uncontrollable laughter!
Sofia’s friends and sister Maria continue to remain her strong support system and I was really pleased to see Sofia’s mum’s character really standing out in this sequel. I must say that I was a bit miffed with one of the characters, as I had found him really endearing in the first book. Perhaps his role towards the end of the story didn’t cut it for me. Having said that, Sofia’s character development and her resilience more than made up for it. A few new characters i.e. Uncle Mouch, Hamida and Sakib provide the sequel with refreshing angles.
It has been a pleasure to read and review this book, which is set for release on 6th April 2017. I would like to extend my genuine gratitude to both the author and publisher. Using the author’s words, ‘Thanks to God’ also!


Popular posts from this blog

Sab Moha Maya Hai - For The Sake of Valentine's Day!

14th February, Valentine’s Day. A day we are told we must “celebrate” as it epitomises this wonderful emotion that we as humans are capable of – Love.

“So, what are your plans for the day?” I was asked this question about a million times today and all I said was “Oh! I don’t know, I’m very unromantic!” to which I got responses like “But it’s the day of love” or “Come on! you need to celebrate love!” and so on. Having reflected upon this small talk that people often engage in to ease the awkward silences, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper about the difference between romance and love as I find the two are often confused- one for the other. Romance is an expression of love, not love itself. Love is when you consistently strive for the wellbeing of another despite it causing you discomfort or pain. It is unconditional, not based on trivialities like tokens of affection which have sadly come to become measures of the extent of love. If you buy me a cake, you love me 30%, a design…

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…

Serving Crazy With Curry - Amulya Malladi

Food! - That wonderful part of our existence that not only plays the essential role of providing daily sustenance but is also an archetype of culture and tradition. For me, food is a meaningful catalyst to creating unforgettable memories and associations. There are certain foods that I associate with certain events or significant people in my life. I also seek comfort in food be it a hot bowl of dal rice after a hard day at work or a sneaky piece of chocolate as a reward for achieving something (Yes, I do apply the principles of behavioural psychology to my own life!)
I first came across Amulya Malladi’s books in London’s local libraries. I was impressed that her books are well stocked which is an indication of their popularity. I read a couple of these books and soon found out the reason for this. Two words – Writing and Characters! Her writing is immensely engaging and her characters threaten to come alive page by page. This certainly applies to ‘Serving Crazy with Curry’.
Devi, our …