Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – Book Thoughts

Eid Mubarak to everyone šŸ™‚ I wish prosperity and lots of time with family and the people you love to everyone on this day, knowing how short and unexpected life can be. Spend time with people you love and try and be kind to your parents, even if they annoy you with their actions and thoughts, else you might end up like the person writing this, regretting her last moments spent with a man she admired and loved.

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So, on the note of celebration, love and respecting or dealing with family, traditions or expectations, this is a perfect book to pick up. A well written re-telling of Pride and Prejudice (one of my favorite romance and family drama stories with one of my favorite heroines, I’m not a big Darcy fan though, ahem). The protagonists in this story are from a Muslim family settled in Toronto, with roots from Hyderabad, India.

I’m glad that more people are reading books from across the world, written by authors with different ethnicities, either as part of their personal reading goals or as a part of book club reading diversity. We need more and more diversity in our reading and writing as well, so we can really understand how similar we all are at the end of the day and how beautifully different we all are, or our cultures are. I’ve also noticed, that books influence me so much. When I was reading ‘Why Mummy Drinks‘ last month, all I wanted to do was open a bottle of Gin or Beer. Last week, when I was devouring ‘Ayesha at Last‘, all I wanted to do was drink large mugs of Chai, prepared the same way with the same spices as was written in the book. My mother observed one day, saying, “I thought you preferred coffee, since when did you become a tea person?” šŸ™‚ Parents are so cute.

Like Elizabeth Bennett, I was instantly attracted to Ayesha’s character, not so much, Khalid’s, although, he was Mr Darcy, but then again, I never had the hots for Mr Darcy either. However, my favorite character hands down was Ayesha’s Nana, her Shakespere quoting, secretly smoking, rebellious grandfather. All the scenes with him made me smile and made my heart warm, since he reminded me of my father a lot. There is a lot of drama, lots of big wedding situations, the usual villains, gossiping older ‘aunties’ to keep you entertained. But what I liked more was the tension and resolution between Khalid and his Islamophobic boss, Sheila. I disliked Sheila instantly, because I see people like her everywhere lately. We love to belittle and hate people who are different from us, don’t we? Just shows how much fear we have and how small our hearts can be. There’s a lot of work to be done, but books like these, that touch on social subjects that are relevant, without beating around the bush, make a difference in at least trying to bridge a gap.

So, all in all, I would say, pick up this book, its got a full proof romance, and a very clean romance, the kind I like, lots of love, laughter, and food that will make you very hungry šŸ˜‰

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