By Monica Ali
Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9780743243315, 432pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2004
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 naive 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.
Los Angeles Times
At once sophisticated and innocent, compassionate
I was bowled over by Monica Ali's Brick Lane.
The New Republic
Splendid....Daring....Brilliant....Refreshing....Brick Lane is a great achievement of the subtlest storytelling.
The Boston Globe
Brick Lane is as crisp and urgent as a headline....But the true pleasure of this wonderful novel comes from its timeless sense of wonder and affection for the haplessness of human nature.
Chicago Star Tribune
Beautiful and intensely readable.