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!!