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.
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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A truly wonderful book!
- B J