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Publisher's Summary

As seen on the Today Show! One of the best summer romance picks!

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Romance Books of 2019! 

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job, so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her 100th marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices, and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century. 

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

©2019 Uzma Jalaluddin (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A delicious and entertaining novel.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Jalaluddin cleverly illustrates the social pressures facing young Indian-Muslim adults...a highly entertaining tale of family, community, and romance.”(Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“This sweet debut novel ticks all the boxes for one of summer’s best reads: It’s smart, witty, romantic and utterly charming.” (Canadian Living)

What listeners say about Ayesha at Last

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intense Halal Romance

This book touches on A LOT of topics. So much, that at times it doesn't feel like a romance. But it is a romance, a halal romance in fact. I am not Muslim, but I love reading Muslim couples in romance and seeing how similar and different they get together.

It is the author's take on Pride and Prejudice. I haven't read PaP, but I love takes on it that feature poc.

There were a bunch of heavy topics in this book. I'm not sure how I feel about them being all addressed in one story as it overwhelmed it at times(forced arranged marriages, alcoholism, abortion, feminism, workplace discrimination, assumed online nudes, colorism, ageism, intense family dynamics, more than I can remember tbh) but I'm sure those are many things that can be present in one person's family let alone a book full of many characters.

Ayesha and Khalid meet at a lounge, in which he judges her for. In time, she stands in for her younger, lighter, assumed prettier cousin, so Khalid believes is falling in love with Ayesha by her cousin's name.

Khalid and Ayesha are so different and view the world differently despite both being practicing Muslims. Khalid is traditional, Ayesha much more liberal. Their push and pull allow them to see the world through the other's eyes and they can't help but fall.
Only Khalid's mom is hellbent on ruling everything about Khalid's life. I was uncomfortable with Khalid's mother at times. She was very much written to appear to be this evil person who manipulated everything around her. I wish she had had more nuance, but between her, Tariq, and Ayesha's cousin, there was so much drama, I had to run to keep up.

Halal romances I assume are the equivalent of clean romances. They follow the proper way to court in Islam, so if youre looking for a book full of steam, this definitely won't be it. But if you're looking for a book that will certainly end in a proposal or marriage, with a couple that gets to know each other before they even hold hands, Ayesha at Last is definitely that book!

3 people found this helpful

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Pride and Prejudice is always good

I loved this sweet retelling of pride and prejudice. The story was interesting from the first page. I loved the main characters and how they realized and overcame their flaws to grow a life they loved. I will definitely be recommending this book to fellow reader friends!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Very good, but might have been even better

The background (Muslim society in Canada) of this story is very interesting. The story would be even better if it was more original. I recognized quite enough of Pride and Prejudice in this one (I love Jane Austen).

It is a pitty I cannot give half of a star. It is not quite worthy of 5 stars but it is better than 4, so I give it 4.5 stars.

3 people found this helpful

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I'm glad I listened to the audio version!

the narrator was excellent in pronouncing the character names and differentiating them with her different voices. I very much enjoyed all of this book, and was eager to always find out what happened next.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and Completely Human Story

Uzma has written a positively lovely update of Pride and Prejudice, translating the historical novel through a modern lens is done perfectly.

2 people found this helpful

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Modern Muslin Marriage Rituals

A bit slow in the middle, but eventually picked up the pace. A close view of family traditions and cultural differences. Very well performed.

1 person found this helpful

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Sooooo good!

I totally recommend this book- I couldn’t stop listening. Ironically I discovered this book last summer, and I am now getting to it. It’s discusses how religion can be a hinderance, racial issues, gender bias, family secrets... all wrapped in a beautiful romance. Get it. You won’t be disappointed at ALL! :)

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

I loved this book! Its a Pride and Prejudice story with a modern, muslim twist. Sooo good! I highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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Worth your point

It was a beautiful love story filled with culture, love, and spices. The story melted me ❤️.

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A fun take of modern day romance.

A fast read, with Pride and Prejudice themed romance mixed with Canadian/Islamic traditions richly portayed.