After an arranged marriage to
Chanu, a man twenty years older, Nazneen is taken to London, leaving her home
and heart in the Bangladeshi village where she was born. Her new world is full
of mysteries. How can she cross the road without being hit by a car (an
operation akin to dodging raindrops in the monsoon)? What is the secret of her
bullying neighbor Mrs. Islam? What is a Hell’s Angel? And how must she comfort
the naïve and disillusioned Chanu?
As a good Muslim girl,
Nazneen struggles to not question why things happen. She submits, as she must,
to fate and devotes herself to her husband and daughters. Yet to her amazement,
she begins an affair with a handsome young radical, and her erotic awakening
throws her old certainties into chaos.
Monica Ali’s splendid novel
is about journeys both external and internal, where the marvelous and the
terrifying spiral together. Download and start listening now!