Cover Image: Love Marriage

Love Marriage

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Member Reviews

A debut that follows soon to be married couple one from a Bengali family the other a son of a famous feminist. We find out there are infidelities and questioning of the marriage. In the background the man, Joe, is in therapy for a sex addiction which his therapist thinks comes from his history with his mother. And meanwhile Yasmin is wondering if her profession is even what she wants. This book could have used an edit. While I enjoyed parts of it it just felt way too long. Some really interesting subjects are there around expectations, parenting, racism. Is it worse to be called a racist or actually be one? Quite the question. 

I’ll be interested in what Ali produces next. 

3.5 stars rounded up
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Love Marriage is about Yasmin, a twenty-something year old junior doctor, and her relationship with all types of love and the stories she’s told about love. The story feels a bit slow at times, and for me, the character development and writing wasn’t always compelling. Without spoiling it, I did enjoy the ending of the novel and felt that it was satisfying. Potentially, a good book for people in their 20s/30s trying to find themselves, but I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise. The story is a bit forgettable. 

Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Love Marriage is an enjoyable read but not nearly as incisive or remarkable as Brick Lane. It’s characters are interesting but rarely surprising. And the plot is a bit predictable, too. Still, it’s worth reading just as a soap opera is worth watching—because we enjoy the escape in other people’s lives and woes.
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I enjoyed reading this novel! The writing was solid and the plot was intriguing. I look forward to the author’s next book!
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Yasmin Ghorami is a doctor living in London who's engaged to her colleague Joe. While planning her wedding, she must navigate the differences in culture between her Indian family and his white one (especially his feminist mother). She must also work to find her own identity amidst a structured life of familial expectation and a family teeming with secrets. 

Yasmin is complex--she's a mix of frustrating and commendable characteristics, which make her especially real. The people in her orbit--Joe, Joe's feminist mother Harriet, her parents, her brother and colleagues--are also vividly rendered. This engaging novel offers sharp social commentary, while also presenting a complex female character whose struggle to find her voice and true self is all too real.

With a deft and comedic hand, Ali explores themes of sex, marriage, love, racism, and identity--and the result is this funny, fresh, and engaging contemporary novel.
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This novel takes on a lot - from marriage to family secrets, race issues and feminism, sexuality and careers - Ali touches it all. I really enjoyed this novel and found the writing to be fluid and descriptive. There are some reviews that criticize the novel’s pace and the scope, suggesting that some characters and scenes are superfluous, however I didn’t feel this way. 

I think the variety of scenes, characters and subjects bring more realism to the novel. I really enjoyed this and wanted to know what decisions would be made and how the families would move forward.
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I really enjoyed this tale of Yasmin, Joe, and their extended families. The writing engages you in the stories of these people, who while not always likable are always so terribly human. You''ll see how the growing up years of our parents affect how they parent and then how that affects the next generation. And yet there is hope too for healing, for growth, and for change.  I am grateful to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Love Marriage  is available now. and it's a really good read!
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This was a 2-2.5 star read for me. While the premise was just up my alley, like other reviewers, I also felt that the execution fell flat. At times, there was too much going on that it felt like the author never got to go deep in any particular area. There could have been a richness woven into the story, but instead I felt yanked from one aspect to another. Some characters and situations felt so underdeveloped that they could have been easily removed from the book as a whole. Instead, I was left wondering why exactly they needed to take up space in this book. That said, if you can roll with some loose threads, there is still enough to enjoy about this book and I'm sure plenty of readers will. It simply wasn't for me.
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Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectations. I felt it was too verbose and couldn’t connect to any of the characters. I didn’t care about them at all. Dnf after 33%.
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I was looking forward to this book because I really liked the author's first book "Brick Lane."  Unfortunately, this one was a disappointment.  There were moments that I felt were interesting and well-written, but these discrete moments did not add up to a satisfying pay-off.  There are a lot of characters introduced in families and there were few characters in this book I ended up caring about.  There were many family secrets with one not being revealed until the very end which ended up short changing the impact of this on the characters.  I did not like the contrived "therapy" scenes and found they slowed down the plot rather than advancing it.  She touches only a bit on islam0phobia and the caste system and being immigrants in England, but I wish she put a bit more emphasis on this.  Her first book explores this in a much more engaging and poignant way.
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Love Marriage is a family drama that follows Yasmin and Joe, two young doctors who are engaged to be married. This is a story about self-identity, class, culture, and race. These characters felt very real and Ali's writing is witty and heartfelt. 

Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC.
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Monica Ali has written her first novel since the popular and well-received Brick Lane. I was delighted to be given an ARC of this title and was eager to read it. To me, it was worth the wait between the two books.

First, think about the title. It is not Love, Marriage or Love and Marriage but Love Marriage. Readers learn that the title is not about the sequencing of relationships but rather about a love (not arranged) marriage. This seems to refer to the marriage between protagonist Yasmin’s parents but could also refer to Yasmin’s upcoming marriage to Joe. Readers who follow the characters will learn, not surprisingly, that relationships can be complicated, fraught and sometimes places where there is dishonesty.

Yasmin is the child who has done mostly what was expected of her. She has studied hard and is in the process of becoming a doctor like her father. Yasmin’s brother is adrift as the book opens. He has a third class degree in Sociology so the world is not on his doorstep offering employment.

Yasmin is engaged to Joe. He is white and a fellow doctor. There is at least one big thing that he has not shared with Yasmin. Arif’s girlfriend Laura is pregnant and due shortly before Amina’s wedding. Early in the novel, Arif is not dealing with this. What will happen in each of these relationships?

Then, there are the parents.Yasmin and Arif’s parents were raised in India where they were of different castes. Yasmins father is a self-made man (mostly). Yasmin’s mother takes care of everyone. I love that she was described as short and cozy, not chubby. Was their marriage truly a love marriage?

Joe’s mother is a well-known feminist. Once she invites Yasmin and her parents over for a meal, all bets are off. Spiraling begins. For example, suddenly Yasmin and Joe may be married by an imam when they wanted a civil ceremony. As the reader continues this book that can be funny and poignant much will happen.

Love Marriage is an involving read. I recommend it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for this title. All opinions are my own.
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Yasmin has always done everything according to plan- her father's plan.  Now 26, she's working as a physician on a geriatric unit and while she's still living at home, she spends many nights with Joe, he fiancé.  Joe, son of the famous feminist Harriet, has a secret.  Now, as their wedding approaches, things are coming apart.  Her mother, Anisah. has always been a bit of an embarrassment but Harriet swoops her up.  Her brother is dating a white woman and has been disowned by their father.  And she's fed up with the hospital.  This is a big book, with a lot to say- about how we treat the elderly, about the NIH, about cross cultural issues, about family.  Yasmin's parents have a secret that isn't revealed until the very end.  It is slow in parts (and wanders more than a little) but it always pulled me back in.  Thanks to the publisher for ARC.  It's a good read which deserves the positive reviews it as received.
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Yasmin and Joe are two doctors who are engaged to be married.  Their families are quite different.  Yasmin is part of an Indian family and is a second-generation doctor while Joe was raised by his mum, Harriet, a world-famous feminist.  However, both Yasmin and Joe are harboring secrets.  Will their love survive?

This book was incredibly boring.  I am reading an advance copy so keep in mind that some things might be changed subsequent publication.  So with that disclaimer….

At the beginning of the book, it took 16 pages just for the family to get out the door and meet Harriet.  16 jumbo pages on the world’s largest eReader.  The beginning should be completely rewritten because it failed to grab my attention.

Additionally, the paragraphs were far too long.  For example, when the characters engaged in dialogue, it felt stilted.  The conversation was more like a monologue with each character going on and on.  Usually, most people have a ping-pong, back and forth of words.  In this case, the book did not flow naturally, and it did not have a conversational tone.

There were several characters and sections that I would have cut from this book.  Melissa, David Cavendish, and Mrs. Antonova should all be removed from the book.  Melissa is the therapist’s wife, and she was mentioned 16 times.  We never actually meet her.  David Cavendish is another character who was really boring and did not add much value to the book, but he was mentioned at least ten times.  And then we come to Mrs. Antonova.  She is a patient from the dementia ward who was mentioned a whopping 64 times (Thanks for the search feature, eReader!).  

Most of the sections pertaining to the hospital were boring.  It felt like the author was trying to capture the vibe from the hit TV series, House, but the effort fell flat.  This last year, I spent about three weeks in the hospital.  Maybe in the UK they do things different, but the doctors did not hang out with me, telling me all about their personal life.  Not even once.

If you read this book because Harriet is a feminist, you will be very disappointed.  She is a caricature of feminism and is pretty much the embodiment of all of the stereotypes that feminists have been fighting against.  Harriet does very little of real consequence in the book and has boring conversations about liberal guilt.  

It is difficult for me to even classify this book, because it seemed to be trying to accomplish many things and did not have a strong identity.  Is it a romance?  Is it about racism?  Is it about hospitals being underfunded?  Is it about not judging a book by its cover?  Is it about the benefits of therapy?    

While some of the characters should have been cut, there were some sections that I think should have been expanded.  There is a character named Flame.  She is mentioned about 100 times.  However, she doesn’t have much of a backstory.  In the beginning of the book, we learn how Joe and Yasmin fell in love.  It took literally one paragraph!  One paragraph!  He asked her questions, and they talked.  

With one paragraph, I was not invested in the relationship of Joe and Yasmin.  Honestly, I was rooting for them to go their separate ways.  There is a saying that an author needs to show, not tell.  This is a perfect example of telling.  The characters need to share with each other their deepest fears and insecurities.  They need to weather some storms together.  I want to hear some Level 5 communication between them!  Where are the sweet nothings?  

After reading through this book (and desperately wanting to rewrite it), I finally arrived at the ending.  It was weak and forgettable.  I think the author wanted to end the book ambiguously, but it just did not work.  

Overall, the beginning, middle, and ending need to be rewritten and heavily revised.  

*Thank you, NetGalley, for a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion.
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Set in current day London, Love Marriage features newly engaged couple Yasmin, a resident and Indian born 26 year old, and Joe, a doctor and upper class white boy. Their ethnic backgrounds, childhood experiences and dating history are drastically different. As they learn about each other and themselves, many secrets and past family histories will be revealed.

This multicultural novel was a slow build for me. I stuck with it because I had heard so much about the author. An interesting exploration of family, marriage, love and sex but would have been improved for this reader with a faster pace.

Thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for the opportunity to review this title before it’s release.
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Love Marriage
by Monica Ali 
Pub Date: May 3, 2022
Scribner 
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  
* contemporary   * love-romance 
Unfortunately, this book was not a love marriage for me.  I wanted to like this book because it involves the complexities of modern relationships, misunderstandings between generations, cross-cultural tensions, and issues in the medical profession. However, I found it lacked something. I will not be recommending this book. 
3 stars
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Absolutely devoured this novel. Set in 2016, with Brexit in the forefront and Covid in the future. This novel, which tells a story about a specific person and family, also manages to speak about healthcare, racism, sexism, and sex.
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While I wanted to like this book I found it very easy to anticipate the outcome. I didn’t find the characters engaging nor the plot line.
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DNF at 25%. I felt like it started off strong and then it was kind of disjointed and the writing style didn’t pull me in. Might be a book for another time.
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When I finished "Love Marriage" and read the author's bio, I wasn't surprised to see that this novel would be made into a film. While reading the novel, I was imagining the scenes, the characters, the music, the plot.  The novel was an enjoyable read, but I suspect the film may be a bit more entertaining because of the editing that will be involved.  Our main character, tends to be Yasmin, a young woman physician,  who lives with her parents, and is engaged to Joe, a doctor, who also lives with his mother. Yasmin doesn't come across a particularly kind person, something she doesn't realize until the end of the novel, when everyone realizes their shortcomings and their potentials, especially for Joe, who has spent a great amount of time seeing a therapist for his sex addiction (and hopefully, these scenes would be shortened for the film because the psychobabble  wasn't always engaging).

This a multicultural novel with diverse characters, no one comes across as too bland, too normal, except for maybe Pepperdine, another doctor who become entangled with Yasmin.  There are many secrets that are revealed at the end, none too shocking, yet it's  a novel that shows how abuse repeats itself, how secrets are never far from the surface, and how reconciliation is possible.
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