Love Marriage, a review by Joanna

posted in: Joanna | 0

Love Marriage

Monica Ali

499 pages

Published January 2022



This is a bittersweet contemporary family drama, set in London, about a young couple, who are both doctors, navigating a mixed culture relationship. I read In The Kitchen by this author some time ago, and Brick Lane has been on my TBR for ages, but I hadn’t heard of this one until someone brought it to my book club. I liked but didn’t love it – the characters are interesting but unlikeable and the ending left too much unresolved.

Yasmin is the 26 year old elder child of Shaokat, a GP, and Anisah, a housewife, who emigrated from Bengal for a better life well before she was born. She has followed her father into medicine and is now engaged to Joe, the only child of wealthy bohemian feminist writer Harriet. Yasmin is a good girl who lives at home and has only had one previous lover, while Joe is secretly in therapy for sex addiction – but also still lives with his mother. The three parents have wildly varying ideas of what the wedding should involve, while Yasmin is just trying to survive the realities of the NHS. When her younger brother’s secrets cause a major rift in her family, Yasmin must decide what, and who, she really wants.
This was a 500 page agonisingly slow paced novel with a large cast of characters, and a lot of issues to address. I found the parts about Yasmin’s parents, her and best friend Rania’s experiences of racism, her work at the hospital, and her confusion about Peppardine most interesting, whereas Joe’s angsty feelings about his relationship with his mother, explored at length in his therapy sessions, were pretty tedious. There’s plenty of wry social commentary, but I didn’t find it funny. I think people who like literary fiction might find this too light, but it’s certainly not chick lit or a romance. 3.5 rounded down for the unsatisfying way the story just petered out.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *