Love Marriage: A Novel (Hardcover)
May 2022 Indie Next List
“A modern-day, page-turning family saga. Beautifully written with deeply intelligent emotional reflections on the complexity within each of us, this is for anyone invested in the ways of the heart — what it wants, and if it can be trusted.”
— Page Berger, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT
“Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose—they’re all here in this romp of a book.” —Oprah Daily
A Phenomenal Book Club Pick and a New York Times Book Review Group Text Selection, Love Marriage is a glorious moving novel from Booker Prize shortlisted Monica Ali, who has “an inborn generosity that cannot be learned” (The New York Times Book Review).
In present-day London, Yasmin Ghorami is twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.
As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin’s relationship and that of her parents, a “love marriage,” according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.
A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a “riveting” (BookPage, starred review) social comedy and a moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another that’s “sure to please Ali’s fans and win some new ones” (Publishers Weekly).
About the Author
Monica Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and grew up in England. She was named one of the 20 best young British novelists under 40 by Granta. She is the author of four previous novels, including Untold Story and Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Guardian Book Prize, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named a winner of the 2003 Discover Award for Fiction and a New York Times Editors’ Choice Book that same year. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Praise for Love Marriage
“Ali successfully skewers everyone—white feminists, children of immigrants, overconfident male doctors…funny and satisfying.”
“Such lively characters, they practically waltz off the page to hand readers save-the-date cards."
—New York Times Book Review, May “Group Text” pick
"Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose—they’re all here in this romp of a book."
“What starts out as a novel about planning a wedding that crosses two very different cultures evolves into something quite different. LOVE MARRIAGE is about coming of age when you thought (perhaps wrongly) that you already had arrived.”
“A riveting portrait of a seemingly perfect engagement’s unraveling… Ali’s character treatments are multifaceted, humane and fluid in this multicultural family drama.”
—BookPage, STARRED review
"The characters’ brisk discussions on politics, culture, and race skate over ideological divides, the substance of which emerges in dramatic irony and creates a textured portrayal of an immigrant family. This is sure to please Ali’s fans and win some new ones."
“[A] colorful tale of strained relationships ... The finale is rich, bawdy, and bold, a dramatization of the many ways we fail those closest to us and build lives on shifting sediments of buried feelings. And we live for love, nonetheless.”
"Ali’s immersive novel, skipping deftly between several points of view, might be termed a comedy of manners of Britain’s urban middle class, but the comedy here has teeth: Though the book treats its characters with affection, the racial dynamics are conveyed with real, heart-rending bite. A keen look at London life, relationships (especially interracial ones)—and a return to Ali’s most celebrated territory."
UK Praise for Love Marriage
“Monica Ali’s latest novel explores a wide range of themes from smashing cultural taboos to the faltering steps you take when you’re young and in love and the experience of being the child of immigrants. Ali’s wit and insight illuminate the complications of modern love in Britain today. A joy.”
“Every bit as compelling as her debut, Brick Lane... warm and intelligent.”
“Love Marriage is wildly entertaining. As you read you’re thoroughly immersed in the intricacies of Ali’s characters... This is a bold and generous book, with large portions set in a sprawling hospital — the perfect backdrop for asking powerful questions about what constitutes health in life and health in love, now.”
“Ali has written a brilliantly tender and compelling novel about who we are and how we love in 21st century Britain.”
—Martin Chilton, Independent
“Over 500 compulsive, tightly plotted pages, it explores the conflict between duty and desire, family and freedom... a master storyteller.”
—Madeleine Feeny, Prospect
“Rich, sensitive and gloriously entertaining... the novel’s real strength lies in its depiction of complex social encounters”
—Tash Aw, Times Literary Supplement
“A novel with the richness, and the throng and press and hum of life itself, Love Marriage is bold, compassionate, big-hearted, pitch-perfectly written, and utterly unputdownable. Every single character lives and breathes on the page. Make time for all of them for they are going to take up residence in your mind and soul for a long, long time.”
—Neel Mukherjee, Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Lives of Others
“No one captures the modern family like Monica Ali—Love Marriage is a masterful cacophony of characters, all drawn with deep empathy and sharp insight. The novel is full of surprises and unexpected twists, with an ending that will take your breath away.”
—Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife