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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Newlyweds

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger was all over everywhere about a month ago so I requested it from the library immediately.  Holy cow--I understand now the mad love.

Amina, a Bangladeshi, meets her husband George on a website that introduces American men to Euro-Asian women.  She moves to Rochester, New York, marries him, and goes about being a wife, a new student, and an employee of a multimedia store in the mall.  She adjusts to this very different life and culture, only to discover a secret her husband has been keeping from her.  It breaks her heart but leaves her determined to make things right.

I had read all over the place how great a novel this was, and every post and article was right on the money.  This was an addictive book, but not in a mystery/thriller kind of way--in a character-driven kind of way.  I fell in love with Amina and her desire to Americanize; I loved her devotion to her parents still in Bangladesh even as they are driving her crazy over the phone.  She is such a sympathetic character and such a lovely creation that I wanted to take a train to Rochester to sit on her couch, drink tea, and talk about her life.  That is the sign of a well-constructed character with a full arc.

I was really bowled over by this novel and I think it is well worth a read for anyone who loves well-constructed and beautiful stories.  It is lovely and beautiful and meaningful and sweet and why are you still reading this blog post when you should be reading this book?

Kindle version on the left, hard copy on the right. Get it.

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