From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.
As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.
Check out the book from the links below:
My Thoughts on the book
“My father says that trying to stop hate is like trying to stop the tides,” Rashid said. “The best thing you can do is take advantage of it. Don’t stop the tide from flowing. Build a hydroelectric dam and make electricity instead, enough to power ten thousand houses. That’s how you stop hate.”Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin
Two endearing rom-com books that also talk about important subjects like Islamophobia and finding your identity in a foreign country, has made Uma Jalaluddin a go-to author for me.
If you’re thinking of skipping reading this book because it says ‘rom-com’ or a ‘you’ve got mail’ remake, then I urge you to reconsider. Although the story is inspired from the concept of you’ve got mail, for me, the story was far more than your usual romantic comedy. While our protagonist Hana Khan navigates her own struggles with identity and her feelings for her online friend and her real life nemesis, we also get to know about the stories of other characters in the book and how each one rebelled against some convention to experience freedom in the real sense of the word. The freedom to choose.
Obviously, we have Hana and Aydin at the centre of the story, but my favorite characters were actually the playful yet intelligent Rashid and the feisty and sarcastic Kawkab Khala. There are a whole gamut of supporting characters that I felt endeared to, and I had a lot of respect for Hana’s mother too, as she reminded me of my own hardworking and unwavering yet vulnerable mom 🙂
The story and the incidents in the book make you realise about the blatant Islamophobia as well as the subtle prejudices that people of colour or of different religions face in a foreign country. I am no novice to the fact that there is such discrimination in my own country. In the outright violence that Hana faces when she goes to watch a game with her family to the subtle preconceived notions that she has to deal with, with her white boss, I felt a form of kinship with Hana and outrage on her behalf. But I love the fact that the author humanises and demystifies Islam by giving us a peak into the lives of a Muslim woman born in a country like Canada. At the end of the day, they’re no different from us. I also appreciated the fact that from this story, Uzma talks about facing hate with love and not giving in to fear. A lovely message to readers.
The pacing of the story is good and an easy read. The romance isn’t steamy and very clean, which is something that I personally prefer. For me however, more than the romance, I enjoyed reading about the friendships that Hana has and makes along the way and learning about the stories of her family.
I enjoyed the book and will be looking forward to Uzma Jalaluddin’s next book with bated breath 🙂
**Thank you to Colored Pages Tours for selecting me to be a part of this tour and thank you to Corvus/Atlantic Books for providing me with a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. **
Blog Tour Schedule
Click on the image below to view reviews and the blog tour schedule for the book 🙂
For this tour there is a giveaway of three (3) copies of Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin. ENTER HERE for your chance to win!
- Open Internationally
- Ends on 17th June 2021 (11:59pm EST)
- The winner will be announced on Colored Pages’s Instagram. (This giveaway is not affiliated/endorsed by Instagram).
About the Author
I am the author of AYESHA AT LAST (2018), a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Toronto Muslim community. My second novel HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) is inspired by the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and set in rival halal restaurants. I also write a funny parenting column for The Toronto Star, and have written for The Atlantic. I live in Toronto with my husband and two sons. Find out more at www.uzmajalaluddin.com and thanks for visiting!