Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls. Every woman has a secret life . . . Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind. As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s "moral police." But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.
Finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize The Straits Times Book Of The Month (August 2016) Pin must not become like her mother, but nobody will tell her why. She seeks clues in Ma’s cooking when she’s not fighting other battles—being a bursary girl at an elite school and facing racial taunts from the bus uncle. Then her meddlesome grandmother moves in, installing a portrait of a watchful Sikh guru and a new set of house rules. Old secrets begin to surface but can Pin handle learning the truth?
Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine’s April 2018 book pick A shirt-grabbing, page-turning love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices. Happiness begins with a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, a world-roaming California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, homebody writer, kind and slyly funny, but loath to leave his Upper West Side studio. Their magical interlude ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant—Brian is sure he loves her, only he doesn't want kids. Heather returns to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie's arrival, Heather's bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, "Get dressed, your baby is in trouble." This is not how Heather had imagined new motherhood – alone, heartsick, an unexpectedly solo caretaker of a baby who smelled "like sliced apples and salted pretzels" but might be perilously ill. Brian reappears as Gracie's condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood. The grace and humor that ripple through Harpham's writing transform the dross of heartbreak and parental fears into a clear-eyed, warm-hearted view of the world. Profoundly moving and subtly written, Happiness radiates in many directions--new, romantic love; gratitude for a beautiful, inscrutable world; deep, abiding friendship; the passion a parent has for a child; and the many unlikely ways to build a family. Ultimately it's a story about love and happiness, in their many crooked configurations.
Happiness starts out as a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites- Heather, an out-going, theatre-performing California girl, and Brian, an intellectual New Yorker with an unwavering writing routine. But when Heather falls pregnant, their magical interlude abruptly ends Brian loves her, only he doesn 't want kids. So Heather decides to have their baby alone. Mere hours after Gracie 's arrival, Heather 's bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, Get dressed, your baby is in trouble. This is not how Heather had imagined motherhood. As concerns for her health grow, Brian and Heather begin a cautious return to each other. Happiness- The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After transforms heartbreak and parental fears into a lyrical meditation on love and happiness, in all their crooked configurations.
The Muslim Bridget Jones - the hilarious romantic comedy from the writer behind Nadiya Hussain's bestselling The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. Sofia Khan is single once more, after her sort-of-boyfriend proves just a little too close to his parents. And she'd be happy that way too, if her boss hadn't asked her to write a book about the weird and wonderful world of Muslim dating. Of course, even though she definitely isn't looking for love, to write the book she does need to do a little research . . . 'Snort-Diet-Coke-out-of-your-nostrils funny . . . will resonate with any woman who's looking for love' Sarra Manning, author of It Felt Like a Kiss 'Funny and sparky . . . a smart and acerbic romcom . . . Read Ayisha Malik's book: it's huge fun.' Jenny Colgan
In Together Tea, Marjan Kamali’s delightful and heartwarming debut novel, Darya has discovered the perfect gift for her daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday: an ideal husband. Mina, however, is fed up with her mother’s years of endless matchmaking and the spreadsheets grading available Iranian-American bachelors. Having spent her childhood in Tehran and the rest of her life in New York City, Mina has experienced cultural clashes firsthand, but she’s learning that the greatest clashes sometimes happen at home. After a last ill-fated attempt at matchmaking, mother and daughter embark on a return journey to Iran. Immersed once again in Persian culture, the two women gradually begin to understand each other. But when Mina falls for a young man who never appeared on her mother’s matchmaking radar, will Mina and Darya’s new-found appreciation for each other survive? Together Tea is a moving and joyous debut novel about family, love, and finding the place you truly belong.
Sofia Khan is just married. But no-one told her life was going to be this way . . . Her living situation is in dire straits, her husband Conall is distant, and his annoyingly attractive colleague is ringing all sorts of alarm bells. When her mother forces them into a belated wedding ceremony (elopement: you can run, but you can't hide), Sofia wonders if it might be a chance to bring them together. But when it forces Conall to confess his darkest secret, it might just tear them apart. A book to make you smile, laugh and cry, this is the story of a mixed-race marriage and a mixed-up family, for anyone who's ever struggled to balance their pride with their principles, or stuck around to try to mend a broken heart. PRAISE FOR AYISHA MALIK 'Snort-diet-Coke-out-of-your-nostrils funny . . . will resonate with any woman who's looking for love' Red 'Funny and sparky . . . huge fun.' Jenny Colgan 'The feminist romantic comedy you've been waiting for' Elle 'Fun, fresh and funny' Mhairi McFarlane 'The perfect blend of comedy and romance' Independent
The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India." Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.
A young Muslim leader's memoir of his struggles to forge an American Muslim identity Haroon Moghul was thrust into the spotlight after 9/11, becoming an undergraduate leader at New York University's Islamic Center forced into appearances everywhere: on TV, before interfaith audiences, in print. Moghul was becoming a prominent voice for American Muslims even as he struggled with his relationship to Islam. In high school he was barely a believer and entirely convinced he was going to hell. He sometimes drank. He didn't pray regularly. All he wanted was a girlfriend. But as he discovered, it wasn't so easy to leave religion behind. To be true to himself, he needed to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his beliefs and personality. How to Be a Muslim reveals a young man coping with the crushing pressure of a world that fears Muslims, struggling with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, and suffering the onset of bipolar disorder. This is the story of the second-generation immigrant, of what it's like to lose yourself between cultures and how to pick up the pieces.
One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn't mean she has to like it--or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina's side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tightknit immigrant community, but now she's ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? And besides, what Nani doesn't know, won't hurt her... As Raina's life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged marriage trap without shattering her beloved Nani's dreams.
Losing It has been shortlisted for the PG Woodhouse Comedy Literary Prize as well as The Edinburgh First Book Award 2015. Millie was at one time quite well known for various TV and radio appearances. However, she now has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn't want it. When she's asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved. She will have money, the weight will be gone, and maybe she'll get more sex. If only life was really that easy. It doesn't take her long to realize it's going to take more than a diet pill to solve her never-ending woes... Losing It is the hilarious debut from Helen Lederer, one of the UK's favourite comediennes.
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller "manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times). In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
In 1971, a teenage girl briefly disappears from her house in the middle of the night, only to return a different person, causing fissures that threaten to fracture her Punjabi Sikh family. As Singapore’s political and social landscapes evolve, the family must cope with shifting attitudes toward castes, youth culture, sex and gender roles, identity and belonging. Inheritance examines each family member’s struggles to either preserve or buck tradition in the face of an ever-changing nation.
Davy Rothbart is looking for love in all the wrong places. Constantly. He falls helplessly in love with pretty much every girl he meets—and rarely is the feeling reciprocated. Time after time, he hops in a car and tears across half of America with his heart on his sleeve. He's continually coming up with outrageous schemes, which he always manages to pull off. Well, almost always. But even when things don't work out, Rothbart finds meaning and humor in every moment. Whether it's humiliating a scammer who takes money from aspiring writers or playing harmless (but side-splitting) goofs on his deaf mother, nothing and no one is off-limits. But as much as Rothbart is a tragically lovable, irresistibly brokenhearted hero, it's his prose that's the star of the book. In the tradition of David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley but going places very much his own, his essays show how things that are seemingly so wrong can be so, so right.
'Jo Cox's selfless service to others made the world a better place' Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Jo's dedication to a fairer and kinder world beautifully told ...' Bear Grylls | 'A desperately tender account ... part love story, part grief memoir ... resolutely uplifting' Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian | 'Brave, inspiring, and full of love' Daily Express | 'A chance to get to know the woman behind the headlines - a tiny ball of energy with a heart as big as a lion, a person who wanted to make a difference' Lorraine Kelly, Sun Jo Cox's murder in June 2016 shocked the world. In the aftermath of her tragic death her husband Brendan Cox urged us to remember Jo's life and what she stood for and not the manner of her death. In this inspiring and impassioned portrait of Jo - as daughter, mother, wife, sister, MP and campaigner - we see how much she gave and much more she had to give. The values she embraced of togetherness, inclusion and compassion are needed now more than ever. A touching and very human portrait of an extraordinary woman, whose legacy has already inspired others. This summer over 100,000 events were part of The Great Get Together in honour of Jo. 'We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.' All Brendan Cox's royalties will go to the Jo Cox Foundation. 'Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.'
THE JULY PICK FOR REESE WITHERSPOON'S HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB "A beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice."--Reese Witherspoon After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution... Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary... Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
"Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated--perhaps they'll find life's meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other's hearts."--