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Nazneen is a teenager forced into an arranged marriage with a man considerably older than her--a man whose expectations of life are so low that misery seems to stretch ahead for her. Fearfully leaving the sultry oppression of her Bangladeshi village, Nazneen finds herself cloistered in a small flat in a high-rise block in the East End of London. Because she speaks no English, she is obliged to depend totally on her husband. But it becomes apparent that, of the two, she is the real survivor: more able to deal with the ways of the world, and a better judge of the vagaries of human behaviour. She makes friends with another Asian girl, Razia, who is the conduit to her understanding of the unsettling ways of her new homeland.
This is a novel of genuine insight, with the kind of characterisation that reminds the reader at every turn just what the novel form is capable of. Every character (Nazneen, her disappointed husband and her resourceful friend Razia) is drawn with the complexity that can really only be found in the novel these days. In some ways, the reader is given the same all-encompassing experience as in a Dickens novel: humour and tragedy rub shoulders in a narrative that inexorably grips the reader. Whether or not Monica Ali can follow up this achievement is a question for the future; it's enough to say right now that Brick Lane is an essential read for anyone interested in current British fiction. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I found it really hard to get into this book. It had its interesting points but overall, found it very boring. Read morePublished on April 1 2009 by Kiran Gill
What an incredibly boring piece. Found it abandoned on a plane. Now I know why. The story consists of ramblings without an end. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2007 by Barbara Girouard
The core of this book revolves around the themes of submission, immigration and integration. It's the story of Nazneen, a quiet young girl whose life changes when the arranged... Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2007 by I LOVE BOOKS
I have read almost half the book, enjoyed it in the beginning and was hoping there would be some change in story, no change but I kept on reading until I came to the part where she... Read morePublished on May 17 2006
Monica Ali has a tremendous talent for creating characters who exemplify the doubts & struggles we all face in life. Read morePublished on July 13 2004