“A modern-day, page-turning family saga. Beautifully written with deeply intelligent emotional reflections on the complexity within each of us, this is for anyone invested in the ways of the heart — what it wants, and if it can be trusted.”
— Page Berger, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT
Set in London now, Love Marriage marks the magnificent return of Monica Ali, the Booker Prize shortlisted, “splendid, daring, brilliant, refreshing” novelist (The New Republic) “with an inborn generosity that cannot be learned” (The New York Times Book Review).
Yasmin Ghorami is twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.
As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin’s relationship and that of her parents, a “love marriage,” according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.
A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a captivating social comedy and a profoundly moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another.
Monica Ali’s Brick Lane was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic.
About the Author
Monica Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and grew up in England. She was named one of the 20 best young British novelists under 40 by Granta. She is the author of four previous novels, including Untold Story and Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Guardian Book Prize, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named a winner of the 2003 Discover Award for Fiction and a New York Times Editors’ Choice Book that same year. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Praise for Love Marriage
“Such lively characters, they practically waltz off the page to hand readers save-the-date cards." —New York Times Book Review, May “Group Text” pick
“A riveting portrait of a seemingly perfect engagement’s unraveling… Ali’s character treatments are multifaceted, humane and fluid in this multicultural family drama.” —BookPage, STARRED review
"Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose—they’re all here in this romp of a book." —Oprah Daily
"The characters’ brisk discussions on politics, culture, and race skate over ideological divides, the substance of which emerges in dramatic irony and creates a textured portrayal of an immigrant family. This is sure to please Ali’s fans and win some new ones." —Publishers Weekly
“[A] colorful tale of strained relationships ... The finale is rich, bawdy, and bold, a dramatization of the many ways we fail those closest to us and build lives on shifting sediments of buried feelings. And we live for love, nonetheless.” —Booklist
"Ali’s immersive novel, skipping deftly between several points of view, might be termed a comedy of manners of Britain’s urban middle class, but the comedy here has teeth: Though the book treats its characters with affection, the racial dynamics are conveyed with real, heart-rending bite. A keen look at London life, relationships (especially interracial ones)—and a return to Ali’s most celebrated territory." —Kirkus
UK Praise for Love Marriage
“The work of a mature feminist writer ...Is love enough? Yasmin and her family work together to answer this question, becoming dear friends to the reader along the way” —The Times
“Rich, sensitive and gloriously entertaining... the novel’s real strength lies in its depiction of complex social encounters” —Tash Aw, Times Literary Supplement
“Ali’s superpower is navigating complex family relationships and this is a saga that is at its most absorbing when we’re waist-deep in domestic discord, although Ali also provides an acute examination of race, class and identity in British society. But that is just one thread in this glorious tapestry of modern British family life.” —Paul Connolly, Metro
“A natural and very engaging storyteller.” —Allan Massie, The Scotsman
“Every bit as compelling as her debut, Brick Lane... warm and intelligent.” —Good Housekeeping
“Told in short, beautifully observed chapters, it’s an outstanding, unputdownable read that deserves to win a clutch of awards.” —Emma Lee Potter, Sunday Express
“Ali has written a brilliantly tender and compelling novel about who we are and how we love in 21st century Britain.” —Martin Chilton, Independent
“Over 500 compulsive, tightly plotted pages, it explores the conflict between duty and desire, family and freedom... a master storyteller.” —Madeleine Feeny, Prospect
“Love Marriage is wildly entertaining. As you read you’re thoroughly immersed in the intricacies of Ali’s characters... This is a bold and generous book, with large portions set in a sprawling hospital — the perfect backdrop for asking powerful questions about what constitutes health in life and health in love, now.” —Financial Times
“Storyteller extraordinaire Monica Ali returns with the tale of junior doctor Yasmin, who gets engaged to her dashing colleague Joe... wise, warm and utterly compelling.” —Red
“It’s tremendously exciting to be able to read a new book by Monica Ali... (it) starts at something of a social comedy, but develops into a deeper tale of two families.” —Cotswold Life
“Wonderfully satisfying.” —Country Life
“Monica Ali’s latest novel explores a wide range of themes from smashing cultural taboos to the faltering steps you take when you’re young and in love and the experience of being the child of immigrants. Ali’s wit and insight illuminate the complications of modern love in Britain today. A joy.” —Harper’s Bazaar
“One of the biggest publishing events of the year... utterly unputdownable” —Stylist
“A moving read about two families two cultures and the secrets we keep.” —Woman and Home
“A novel with the richness, and the throng and press and hum of life itself, Love Marriage is bold, compassionate, big-hearted, pitch-perfectly written, and utterly unputdownable. Every single character lives and breathes on the page. Make time for all of them for they are going to take up residence in your mind and soul for a long, long time.” —Neel Mukherjee, Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Lives of Others
“No one captures the modern family like Monica Ali—Love Marriage is a masterful cacophony of characters, all drawn with deep empathy and sharp insight. The novel is full of surprises and unexpected twists, with an ending that will take your breath away.” —Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife
“I absolutely loved it. It had me gripped and I was so invested in her brilliant characters with their fallibilities and secrets! I empathized with every one of them and really felt I knew them all as individuals. I loved how she so cleverly interwove their experiences to create such a fabulous story. She writes human frailty so well, and her astute observations on family dynamics are superb. Exquisitely written with big heartedness, intelligence and passion. This will be a hit I have no doubt.” —Ruth Jones, author of Never Greener
“Funny, warm, powerful... Love Marriage has a warm intelligence and a sharp observational power, making the characters and the world of the story feel very alive.” —Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People
“A truly astonishing piece of writing—exquisite storytelling, featuring the most human portrayal of doctors I've ever read. I defy you to put this book down.” —Adam Kay, bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt
“I have loved every one of Monica Ali's books and Love Marriage is her best. A huge, bounteous story, it is lit from end to end with human variety and storytelling brilliance. Ali writes like an angel who is not afraid of the devil. It will be a novel of the year and confirms Monica Ali as a national treasure.” —Andrew O'Hagan, author of Mayflies
“This is such a gloriously vibrant and tender novel packed with wit, intelligence and wisdom. It has everything - clashing cultures, family rifts, suppressed addictions, desire, passion. Her two junior doctor protagonists are superbly drawn - flawed, courageous, flailing, human. Just brilliant.” —Rachel Clarke, author of Breathtaking
“I absolutely loved Love Marriage. It's a story about love and family, about despair and forgiveness, about trauma and recovery, about expectation and responsibility, about friendship and community. Mostly, it's about having the courage to lose yourself, in order to find yourself again. It's big-hearted and tender and it's a novel that cares about its characters so deeply that you will too.” —Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You
“I loved Love Marriage, and looked forward to reading it every night. Funny, compassionate, sexy, romantic, beautifully plotted and richly peopled, it is both highly original and working within a literary tradition of novels about love and marriage. Above all it is about the way that individuals are a mystery to each other, and themselves, wounding and misunderstanding each other, yet also about how, with patience and kindness, we can change for the better.” —Amanda Craig, author of The Golden Rule
“Through the construct of a marriage, Monica Ali imagines complex modern lives tip-toeing around and defying each other's sensitivities in a warm, affectionate and hilarious novel. Love Marriage is every bit as compelling, as charming as Brick Lane. A joyous novelist at the peak of her formidable powers writing fresh lives into our literary tradition.” —Daljit Nagra, author of Look We Have Coming To Dover!
“I tore through Love Marriage. An engrossing read... Such a brilliant portrayal of how we can't help but be mortified by the ones we love, no matter how much we hate ourselves for it. Even in the characters' darkest and most desperate moments there is warmth - they're not perfect but you root for them all the same. I enjoyed my time peeking into their lives - and was happy to see everybody exactly where they should be (for better or worse) when it came time to leave them.” —Justin Myers, author of The Magnificent Sons