David and Ameena

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Pub Date 01 May 2021 | Archive Date 01 Mar 2021

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Modern-day New York, a subway train: David, an American-Jewish jazz musician, torn between his dreams and his parents’ expectations, sees a woman across the car. Ameena, a British-Pakistani artist who left Manchester to escape the pressure from her conservative family, sees David. When a moment of sublime beauty occurs unexpectedly, the two connect, moved by their shared experience. From this flows a love that it appears will triumph above all. But as David and Ameena navigate their relationship, their ambitions and the city they love, they discover the external world is not so easy to keep at bay. Ami Rao’s masterful debut novel picks apart the lives of two people, stripping them of their collective identities and, in doing so, facing up to the challenge of today: can love give us the freedom to accept our differences?

Modern-day New York, a subway train: David, an American-Jewish jazz musician, torn between his dreams and his parents’ expectations, sees a woman across the car. Ameena, a British-Pakistani artist...

Advance Praise

'A touching story of multicultural love, desire and achievement with “soul” at its heart.' — Geoffrey Horton, musician and vocalist

'I’ve never read such an accurate and telling evocation of the additional complications of personal creative expression.' — Tim Hayward, writer, broadcaster and columnist

'Ami Rao intricately weaves threads of love, family, politics and identity to create a beautiful, and very real, modern love story that sparkles beneath a New York sky line.' Huma Qureshi, author of How We Met.

'A touching story of multicultural love, desire and achievement with “soul” at its heart.' — Geoffrey Horton, musician and vocalist

'I’ve never read such an accurate and telling evocation of the...

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ISBN 9781912054275
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Featured Reviews

I absolutely devoured this book as soon as I seen it on my dashboard!
I greatly appreciated the rep, the setting, and the characters personalities.
This book made me shed a tear (or ten) and I finished with a bittersweet feeling in my chest, I know when I do eventually re-read that I will be filled with joy.
I will surely be recommending this book to all my reader friends.

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Where do I begin with this book? First off, I was not expecting it to be as intense as it was. I absolutely loved everything about it though. The writing style is brilliant and the characters are so well developed. Although the narration was along different timelines and perspectives, the transition was seamless and I could not stop reading this book. I also found myself unable to stop thinking about it. The story did sometimes seem a bit long but never boring. Definitely one of my favourite reads of the year.

Thank you NetGalley and Fairlight Books for the copy. This book was an unexpected but very pleasant surprise.

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This book is an artistic expression of when two kind souls serendipitously find each other, true love occurs. David and Ameena are meant for each other and support each other in all endeavors whether it be him playing the piano or her painting. I also loved the fact that New York is a character in the book. Truly great work.

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4.5 stars
Such a sweet story.
I loved how it set up the story to show how different these two people are. We learned about their parents, their childhood, religious backgrounds, and what got them to where they are.
In between this, we got to see a spark between these two people ignite.
It’s deeply honest and personal.
Beautifully written. Beautiful characters. It was just lovely.

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This story tracks the relationship between, naturally, David and Ameena, along with bits and pieces of their family's development, too. Rao uses various narrative styles throughout and one of the interesting techniques that caught me was the intermingling of present and past tense. It wasn't until about halfway through that I noticed this and I thought, "how is this working so well?" And yet, it does. Story-wise, I was drawn into the aspects of racism each character faced and how their different backgrounds affected their lens on both their dreams and their path with one another. Rao also does a great job showing how two people can hurt one another, yet forgive and continue to love deeply.

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An unexpectedly moving, in-depth love story explores the challenge of differences in background, faith and culture. When David and Ameena meet by accident on a New York subway, their attraction is instant, but their very different backgrounds mean there are challenges ahead for their relationship, For David is an American Jew, an advertising executive by day and jazz musician by night, while Ameena is a a British Muslim, a fashion journalist and frustrated artist. Neither is deeply religous, but their cultural differences intrude on their love story as they try to reconcile their feelings against the background of the Palestine/Israeli conflict, the long-lasting repercussions of 9/11 and the day-to-day prejudices each has experienced throughout their lives.
But this story is more than a romance - it's an exploration of identity in a shifting world, of family loyalties and of discovering your true potential no matter the colour of your skin, your religion or your upbringing. Ameena's family dynamics - a patient father, querulous mother and religious brother back home in the UK - are explored throughout the narrative, and though David's parents are dead, their influence on his life are revealed, too, in flashbacks and through his relationship with his brother, a fairly Orthodox Jew.
Though it took me a couple of chapters to get into this, I found myself enjoying the precise prose that captures the minutiae of the characters and their lives, both now in New York, and as youngsters growing up in the UK and the USA. They're both very endearing characters - Ameena is strong-willed and independent, David is gentle and thoughtful, and I found myself willing their relationship on to succeed.
The fact that you're never quite sure if their love will transcend the challenges they face adds an extra layer to this romantic story. A very satisfying read.

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I loved this beautifully written novel.The sweet characters the story kept me turning the pages .I was sorry to finish it and will be recommending.Abook to treasure an author to follow, #netgalley#fairlightbooks

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I was not sure what to expect from this book, having not heard a ton about it. Every so often, a novel comes along that takes us by surprise with its intensity and this, for me, was that novel. I devoured DAVID AND AMEENA in one sitting and am excited to promote on my feed.

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David and Ameena is a timely novel that is especially relevant in the United States as we have never before been so divided as a country as we are right now. In this gorgeous novel David and Ameena meet on the subway in New York City and are both working in good day jobs that affords them a comfortable lifestyle. Before too long they move in together. They both are aspiring artists and they both support each other's pursuits in their prospective endeavors to push ahead with becoming better at their art. David is interested in Jazz and has always played the piano and he more or less educates Ameena about Jazz. Ameena paints watercolor works of art. David's mother and father are both dead and Ameena who has roots in Pakistan has moved to New York City from Manchester, England. Her parent's both live in Manchester with her brother. David also has a brother who comes to visit them once.

David is Jewish but non religious and Ameena is Muslim but they have a harmonious relationship for the most part. One day Ameena's parents call her to say that a hate crime was perpetrated against them in their home. Ameena's brother gets arrested for getting even with the person responsible for committing the hate crime. Ameena gets a shot at two exhibit's at an art gallery to feature her paintings.

This novel was written exceptionally well and the characterization's were rendered authentically. I really enjoyed this novel's depiction of a mature relationship between David and Ameena and feel that the differences in religious beliefs and ethnic differences gave this narrative a fresh and unique overall change in the mainstream literary novels. I would recommend this to friend's and family.

Publication Date: February 4, 2021

Thank you to Net Galley, Ami Rao and Fairlight Books for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#DavidandAmeena #AmiRao #FairlightBooks #NetGalley

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David And Ameena, by Ami Rao

Thank you Netgalley for the review copy.
Unexpectedly beautiful. Detailed. Moving. A story with real potential. This could be the next “The Sun is also a Star”,but better.
 David,a Jewish Jazz musician,who is also an advertising executive during the day. Ameena is a British Muslim, a fashion journalist and frustrated artist. Their chance meeting one night in an empty subway changes their life…forever.
Is this a love story? Yes. But its much more than that. Its about the sense of self identity,about being something more than what your family,religion,or the color of your skin defines you to be.
What I loved most about this book was its narration-hauntingly peaceful,narration that really engages with the mind of the reader. The little bits of flashbacks in between made this read even more of an experience.

David and Ameena comes out on 4th of February,2021. Highly recommended if you want to go for a romance novel that stays with you,forever.

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