Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Newlyweds

I finally read this book which came out last year to great fanfare, and I really enjoyed it. It's about a young girl from Bangladesh, Amina, who has studied English and who has dreamed of living somewhere else. George is a lonely electrical engineer from Rochester, NY, who wants to buy a house and have a family. Amina and George meet on an online dating site, and soon they are emailing each other exclusively. When George flies to Bangladesh to finally meet Amina and her parents, it only takes a few days for them to decide to marry, with her parents blessing (who are also looking to emigrate to the United States).

The first part of the book takes place in Rochester, with Amina adjusting to life in the U.S. and marriage, and learning what it's like to be an immigrant. She gets a job at Starbucks, takes classes at the community college,  tries to fit in with George's family, and thinks about having a child.  But Amina can't imagine having a child without her parents nearby, so she starts planning and saving for their move to America, and trying to convince George that this is a good idea.

In the second half of the book, Amina has gotten her green card and she goes back to Bangladesh by herself to help her parents navigate the process of obtaining visas and emigrating to the United States. We see Amina in both worlds and see how hard it is for her to live between two cultures. Her nostalgia for her homeland and seeing old friends confuses her and a little bit of suspense is introduced here.

I found the book all the more interesting when I read that the author had gotten the idea for the novel after sitting next to a young Bangladeshi woman on a flight to Rochester. The two women kept in touch and eventually became friends, even traveling together to Bangladesh.

The author has a lovely style of writing, and I was pulled into the story easily.

No comments:

Post a Comment