I just recently finished reading a great novel that has been sitting with me for almost three years now, a book that my sister loaned me as part of a stack I was to get through while nursing G. Well, G is almost 3 now, and she weaned back when she was 18 months old. No matter, I just picked up the book a few weeks ago and it was well worth the wait to have the time to really get into a good read:
It's the story of Nazneen, a young girl who leaves a village in Bangladesh to marry a man Chanu, who's 20 years older and lives in London, England, in an area known as Brick Lane. It follows her life over the next number of years, as she adjust to Western life, has children, and even starts an affair with a younger Muslim radical. We also follow the life of her sister who married for love, through a series of correspondence which weaves through the narrative.
I thought it was a a lovely novel, great storytelling, and a glimpse into a life that I know nothing about. It explores love on all levels, the pursuit of dreams, disillusionment, and most importantly the evolution of a young girl coming into her own as a woman. It was the winner of several book awards in 2003. And unbeknownst to me, was made into a movie that just had its premiere LAST WEEK in London. And not without "contr-aw-versy". Apparently there was a gala event to which the Royal family was invited. But there were a lot of protests about the way that Bangladeshi and the area of Brick Lane were portrayed in the film, so apparently Prince Charles, who was initially supposed to attend the premiere, ducked out at the last minute. Now I've just got to see the movie!
I've got a thing about reading books before movies. Sometimes if the book's too good, I don't want to spoil it by seeing the film. Like "Mystic River". Even though I love Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins, I still can't bring myself to rent the DVD.
So next up:
Cover photograph: Chris Fraser Smith
I know, it's another older book, but the movie's coming out and I've got to read this REAL FAST!