This was a thoroughly enjoyable retelling of Persuasion, one of my favorite types of second chance romance tropes. It centers around Nada Syed who is twenty-eight and still being pressured about marriage by her traditional parents. Nada is helping her best friend, Haleema, prepare for her upcoming wedding to the brother of man Nada knew, and loved, in the past.
When Haleema drags Nada to a Muslim conference that her fiancee’s family runs, Nada runs into her former love. If you’re a Persuasion fan, you may be able to somewhat guess what happens from there, but you certainly won’t see some of the twists coming! There were some great surprises in this book that helped it stand apart as its own story while still honoring the Persuasion outline many of us readers know and love. I loved how Jalaluddin gave such depth to her characters and the longing between Nada and Baz was palpable throughout the story. Nada’s growth throughout the book was wonderfully thoughtful as well. This story is a retelling and yet refreshingly unique. A definite must-read for Austen lovers!
ABOUT THE BOOK
A sparkling second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion…
Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she’s still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother’s unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it’s a far cry from realizing her start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.
Nada’s best friend Haleema is determined to pry her from her shell…and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference held downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema’s fiancé, Zayn. And did Haleema mention Zayn’s brother Baz will be there?
What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a past—some of it good, some of it bad and all of it secret. At the conference, that past all comes hurtling at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can Nada truly say goodbye to once was or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?