Brick Lane

  • by Monica Ali
  • Narrated by Elizabeth Sastre
  • 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Nanzeen's inauspicious birth in a Bangladeshi village imbues in her a sense of fatalism that she carries across continents. Married off to a man old enough to be her father, Nanzeen moves to London and cares for her family. But gradually she begins to question whether fate controls her or whether she has a hand in her own destiny. She discovers both the complexity that comes with free choice and the depth of her attachment to her husband, her daughters and her new world.While Nanzeen journeys along her path of self-realization, her sister, Hasina, rushes headlong at her life. Woven through the novel, Hasina's letters from Dhaka recount a world of overwhelming adversity. Shaped, yet not bound, by their landscapes and memories, both sisters struggle to dream, and live, beyond the rules prescribed for them.

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What the Critics Say



Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Abridged), 2004
"A humanely forgiving story about love...Brick Lane may be Ali's first novel, but it is written with a wisdom and skill that few other authors attain in a lifetime." (Sunday Times [London])
"Carefully observed and assured...its power residing in Ali's unsparing scrutiny of its hapless, hopeful protagonists." (Publishers Weekly)
"A splendid novel." (Atlantic Monthly)
"A sharp-witted tale...In Ali's subtle narration, Nazneen's mixture of traditionalism and adaptability, of acceptance and restlessness, emerges as a quiet strength." (The New Yorker)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A truly wonderful book!

This book follows the life of a young woman who leaves a Bangladesh village for a marraige in London. The drawing of her character is stunning. We are let into the tiny reflections of her days, the grace with which she tries to embrace what fate has given her, and an underlying questioning of whether those who struggle against their fate, or those who accept it are happier in the end. The story is thoughtful, sensitive, provocative, and endlessly insightful. There's no great action taking place most of the time, but instead we enter her inner world, perceptions of the new culture around her, her wonder at and care for her first child, the settling into life of the family, and the tensions that come in and out of their On top of it, the voice of the reader of the audio book is endearing, excellently depicting the tone of the character discussed, and nice to listen to.
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Other Eyes

I enjoyed this audiobook, though I admit the chapters that are letters from the sister in Bangladesh are sometimes hard to listen to because they are read as if translated by someone with limited English skills. It seems odd, but if the letters were read in perfect English, they would not sound authentic. The reader is quite good...reading with what sounds like a proper accent when needed. Her voice is pleasant and smooth.

The story is not as good as I had hoped, given was shortlisted for Booker Prize. The ending is just way too neat. And characters just disappear from the story, with very little explanation. Perhaps this is deliberate? Perhaps in immigrant life people do just disappear?

Anyway, a good listen and I'd recommend it.
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- B J

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2003
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books