Look for Nell Freudenberger's new novel, Lost and Wanted, coming April 2019.
Amina Mazid is twenty-four when she moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is the twenty-first century: she is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online.
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life for her and her parents, as well as a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn't play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when Amina returns to Bangladesh that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
In this cross-cultural, fish-out-of-water tale from Freudenberger, an 11-month courtship consisting of many emails and one exceptionally awkward visit culminates in marriage when 24-year-old Amina Mazid moves from her home in Bangladesh to New York to marry engineer George Stillman. But the couple s new life is anything but perfect. Both Amina and George are harboring secrets and will have to work to prevent the past from ruining the future. Narrator Mozhan Marno turns in a strong performance in this audio, deftly handling the books large cast of characters and switching between Bengali and American accents. Marno also creates a range of voices and speech patterns for the characters, capturing both Amina s fast-talking coworkers in Rochester and the formal diction of her parents. But most importantly, Marno s narration is grounded in Amina s voice and changes with the character as she finally begins to shed her meekness. A Knopf hardcover.
I truly enjoyed this book. I was captivated by the main character. She was so independent yet childlike. She was modern yet traditional. I wish the author would have explored the Nasir relationship a little more. Couldn't help but feel a little sad for her when she left Bangladesh with her parents. How painful to leave a person you love so much. Maybe the next book can revisit this relationship. NF did a good job of keeping me entertained. Just when it was a little subdued, another exciting moment crept in. Having left my country as a young person, I could relate to many of her "situations". Great read!!!
I don't think I would classify this as one of the great romance novels, but it was a good story of family loyalty and certainly an interesting look at adjustment in a new country...probably harder than most of us can even imagine. I enjoyed the book and learned a little along the way. A bit repetitive and drawn out in parts, but worth the time.
A wonderful love story
I decided to write a paper on this book. I'm going to compare it to the great romance classics such as Pride and Prejudice. I feel like this holds up nicely to those great books as far as meeting all the elements that would make something a romance novel. In a way this seems like the author wrote a HEA for both the American Amina and the Bangla Munni. Both sides of her seem some kind of resolution, and that made a very well-rounded story.
The only reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I thought the prose could be tightened up just a little. Certain pieces of the novel weren't 100% necessary to me. The essay contest being one. The scene with Motka's mother being the other.