Book Review: Ayesha At Last – Uzma Jalaluddin

As you probably know if you’ve read a few of my posts, I’m a voracious reader. I read 3-4 books a week easily, more if I’m having any downtime. While I was very sick I was averaging 10 a week. I’d sooner read than watch TV. Reading isn’t a hobby for me, it’s necessity.

I love my long road trips and the worst aspect of them is that I can’t read and drive. I can’t do audio books because my mind wanders so when I stop for the night I can’t sleep until I’ve read for at least an hour!

By the way, book review bloggers – you guys are my nemesis! You’re closing me a fortune!

I rarely review books but I’m going to try to do so more often starting with a review of a book I read yesterday.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin is a pure delight from beginning to end.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

It’s billed as a modern day Pride and Prejudice but for me, it had all the fun and intrigue of a Shakespearean comedy. The author is obviously a Shakespeare fan and this book is a clever homage to his style of weaving characters and developing them in an intricate web of crossovers.

I loved how the author really let you live inside both Ayesha’s and Khalid’s heads. There are twists and turns in the plot, some clever devices worthy of the bard himself but you can guess from the beginning, even before the beginning, exactly where it’s going to go. There’s no real surprises but knowing that takes nothing from my pleasure in the tale. If anything it adds to the satisfaction. This book definitely left me wanting more which is always the best possible recommendation I can give. I stayed up until 1:30am because I couldn’t go to sleep without finishing it. I tried to go to sleep twice but had to turn the light back on because I just couldn’t sleep wanting to read further! Even when I finished it I was t ready to let it go and I’ve looked longingly at it a couple of times today already. I read in the car until I made myself yesterday (I wasn’t driving I promise!!)

I really enjoyed this book and would give it a resounding five stars.

Its available on kindle, audiobook and paperback. I bought the paperback as it was cheaper than the kindle price which really pisses me off. Publishers need to stop being such greedy buggers!!

25 thoughts on “Book Review: Ayesha At Last – Uzma Jalaluddin

    1. I’m not a huge ‘love story’ fan but this didn’t really read like one. It definitely reminded me of ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and The Taming Of The Shrew’
      There is a delightful cadence to both the story and vocabulary and extremely enjoyable!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I both love and hate books that demand cover to cover reading.
    I picked up a book this morning that I’ve heard great things about, only to realize I’ve already read it at some point. I hate when that happens. Luckily it’s a library book so no money lost.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do re read some books. I’ve worn out and had to replace some books over the years.
        I’m like you, I’m always reading something. Thank goodness for public libraries because I don’t have the money or the space to support my reading habit.😋

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever I see an ebook and paperback version of some book, the ebook (in my case) always costs less, and sells more. Don’t worry – when I (at some point) get my books published, I’ll keep the prices affordable. I guess author’s need – or want – to make a profit from their books as publishing and marketing costs, from what I’ve been reading, are very expensive, which is why I think that books (and ebooks) can cost a lot.
    Sounds like an interesting book. Might look into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My father has asked me to tell me something to encourage you.
    My father was born in New Zealand and was really independent as all his life he has being building, constructing and managing construction sites until he reached 70 and had three strokes unbeknownst to him and he was the only one out of 80 people to have suffered strokes to be able to still have all his faculties and has relearnt so much as he was brought up religious. He thought he knew what love was but when 20 years ago when he and my mum came together, Father said that He was going to teach them how to love. They’ve just realised that He’s doing that now.
    In religious days, somehow they had the concept sex/love wasn’t something to be enjoyed but Father/God came to dad four times in hospital to tell him and show him what He has ahead for him/us and it’s like he’s just beginning life. He, too, can’t handle long posts/stuff and likes “real” comments/reading but really loves real books.
    My father gets me to tell him what I’m doing with my blog and with interacting with others as his eyes have not yet fully focused after the three strokes, and I mentioned you, and he wanted to tell you all that.

    Liked by 1 person

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