Ayesha at Last

Ayesha at Last

Book - 2019
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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 one hundredth 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 dresses like he belongs in the seventh century. When his engagement to Hafsa is announced, Ayesha must deal with the truth about Khalid, her family... and herself.
Publisher: New York : Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2019
Edition: Berkley trade edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781984802798
Branch Call Number: FIC JALALUDDIN 2019
Characteristics: 351 pages ; 21 cm


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Sep 29, 2019

Its a cute, a nice PG romance in a world of billionaire sadist and brooding, borderline abusive bad boys. I think some of my issues are with the underdeveloped side characters and weak villains that are kind of on the cartoonish side. A little heavy handed on the Pride and Prejudice references. But a solid cute romance.

OPL_ErinD Sep 08, 2019

This sweet and chaste romance, a modern-day retelling of Pride & Prejudice set among a Muslim community in Toronto, will warm your heart.

STPL_JessH Sep 05, 2019

This is a Staff Favourite here at STPL! A number of us read it and loved it. I really appreciated such a fresh updated take on Pride and Prejudice. Jalaluddin leans into some difficult conversations and still provides a fun and flirty novel. I highly recommend this one!

ArapahoeKati Aug 02, 2019

So close to a 4-star read but some of the character development was lost in the last 1/3 of the book. However, it was a fun, if loose, retelling of Pride and Prejudice, especially with the Muslim characters and its Toronto setting.

RomanceAddict Jul 24, 2019

Review excerpt: "Now THIS is how it’s done! 'Ayesha At Last' is a lovely loose retelling of Pride and Prejudice, with a perfect mix of humor, heartbreak, misunderstandings, and humor. It’s a contemporary set in Canada and the characters are described with empathy and with plenty of surprises. Upon somber reflection it has some flaws, but the reason the flaws are so glaring is that most of the book is so perfect."


If you like this book or want to read another contemporary romance with Muslim characters, try "Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged" by Ayisha Malik.

Jun 26, 2019

This was a cross between a Harlequin romance and Bollywood meets a Midsummer Night's Dream....lots of convoluted plot twists, misdirection, identity confusion, and just an overall mishmash of silliness. It was not my cup of tea, or should I say, not my cup of Chai. It was the least favorite for me of the three choices for "Red Deer Reads", and I would not recommend that you waste your precious reading time on this particular book.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jun 17, 2019

More successful as a rom com than as a Pride & Prejudice reboot. This title, set in the Toronto Muslim community is good fun!

AshleyF2008 Jun 14, 2019

I am of a mixed mind on Ayesha at Last. On one hand, the beginning was catching and illuminating. I have never read anything from a Muslim woman's perspective. I enjoyed the characters and the family dynamics.

On the other hand, the conclusion of the book (no spoilers) seemed a bit close-minded for a book that had begun by trying to open minds. Also, there are too many unnecessary perspectives. Nothing was left to the imagination and very little of the book happened 'off-stage'.

JCLGreggW May 24, 2019

A romance full of charm, wit, and warmth, set in a Canadian Muslim community, and an excellent Jane Austen riff to boot. I dare you not to smile while reading this.

Feb 07, 2019

Began with an optimistic attitude that quickly disintegrated. I stopped reading around page 50 - fed up with the Muslim male attitudes shown by Khalib towards women.

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SPL_Melanie Nov 06, 2018

At this dreary season in the year, brighten up a rainy day with some fresh, sparkling perspectives on romance! All three of these contemporary novels explore what happens when a young, busy working woman finally meets someone special – although in each story, the potential of The Man is certainly not clear at first glance.

In The Proposal, Nikole meets Carlos after she turns down a very public proposal from her short term boyfriend, and they begin a sexy flirtation – but is that all it is? This novel has snappy dialogue, wit, and is quite high on the spicy scale. It’s the second novel by Guillory (her first is The Wedding Date) and in both books, the main character is a determined and successful woman who enjoys her relationships.

A Princess in Theory introduces a new series by Alyssa Cole, Reluctant Royals (book two, A Duke By Default is also in the library now). Naledi, an American grad student, gets a series of spam emails claiming she is the true soulmate of Prince Thabiso of the African country of Thesolo – deleted, of course. Shortly after, she meets and immediately clicks with her new neighbour Jamal. But is Jamal who he says he is? He doesn’t seem familiar with the basics of life, like cooking or taking the subway… This is a clever story featuring a heroine who is a successful, smart scientist. It sets up the next book in the series well, and provides lots of laughs, suspense, and a slightly elevated spicy rating.

Ayesha At Last is inspired by Pride & Prejudice and is set in Scarborough amongst the Muslim community. Its spicy rating is quite low, and the romantic tangle comes more from community expectations and the main characters’ mistaken assumptions about one another. Ayesha meets Khalid at their mosque when she is volunteered once again to take her flighty cousin Hafsa’s place on a committee, and thus is mistaken for Hafsa. But it’s this very cousin who Khalid’s mother is trying to set him up with, leading to confusion all around. Drama, a large cast, and a seasoning of humour result in an entertaining Canadian read.

If you are in the mood to warm up with a good romance, any of these might do. Or ask us for more suggestions, any time!

(as published in the Stratford Beacon Herald Nov 9 2018)


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