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A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.
In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online.
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
I truly enjoyed this book. I was captivated by the main character. She was so independent yet childlike. She was modern yet traditional. I wish the author would have explored the Nasir relationship a little more. Couldn't help but feel a little sad for her when she left Bangladesh with her parents. How painful to leave a person you love so much. Maybe the next book can revisit this relationship. NF did a good job of keeping me entertained. Just when it was a little subdued, another exciting moment crept in. Having left my country as a young person, I could relate to many of her "situations". Great read!!!
I read too much
In this country of immigrants this book gives an insiders view of how difficult adjustment can be. The ending was depressing and unfulfilling it makes me regret reading the book.
A wonderful love story
I decided to write a paper on this book. I'm going to compare it to the great romance classics such as Pride and Prejudice. I feel like this holds up nicely to those great books as far as meeting all the elements that would make something a romance novel. In a way this seems like the author wrote a HEA for both the American Amina and the Bangla Munni. Both sides of her seem some kind of resolution, and that made a very well-rounded story.
The only reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I thought the prose could be tightened up just a little. Certain pieces of the novel weren't 100% necessary to me. The essay contest being one. The scene with Motka's mother being the other.