Roxanne reviews Love Marriage by Monica Ali
Love Marriage by Monica Ali is the perfect book complement to the recent Oscar nominated film The Worst Person in the World, in that the theme, “Life is not simple” is universal. In both the book and the film, the female main character deals with coming of age.
Interestingly, while coming of age used to generally refer to enlightening self-discovery between late teens and early twenties, a combination of children having early access to social media and adult themes, along with a volatile and ever changing work world, has slowed personal maturation. Thus, in Love Marriage, Yasmin, the main character, is in her mid-twenties before she hits her disorientation.
As a pre-med student in residency on the doctor fast track, Yasmin questions her career path and relationship. Was she pressured by her doctor father or is this really her true calling? Is her relationship with another doctor simply something that appears model perfect or does it really meet her needs?
I enjoyed Ali’s choice of English setting with its witty accompanying dialect. The short chapters have tremendous attention to detail, such as using characters’ fashion choices to help define their characters. Her granular approach to dialogue, such as revealing Yasmin’s inner thoughts as her mother tells a long convoluted story, is spot on. Layers of subplots added spice; these include a black sheep brother, hospital office politics, and her boyfriend’s therapy sessions in which he grapples with after effects of his oversexualized mother’s child rearing practices.
Love Marriage could be enjoyed by women of any generation, and is a realistic look at life in the modern age of distraction and our attempts at human connection.