Pride and Prejudice with a modern twist
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 a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.
"There’s an overabundance of Pride and Prejudice retellings, but few are as thoughtful and creative as this stellar debut from an author to watch."
“Ayesha At Last is the modern Pride & Prejudice retelling I never knew I needed. Warm, witty, romantic, and relatable. Honestly, Darcy who? Khalid is everything.”
“How to make the world a better place? Read Uzma Jalaluddin’s Ayesha At Last --a cross-cultural pleasure, a romp, a modern, Muslim sly salute to Pride and Prejudice. The lovely, witty writing is testimony to an excellent eye and ear at work.”
“Completely a delight . . . a smart and assured debut that is deliciously devourable and deserves space on everyone’s reading list this summer.”
“This is the book I’ve been waiting for since my long-running Jane Austen obsession. Move over Darcy, Khalid’s in town.”
“A cleverly entertaining romantic romp.”
“Jalaluddin cleverly illustrates the social pressures facing young Indian-Muslim adults...a highly entertaining tale of family, community, and romance.”
“An uproarious romp, filled with farcical cases of mistaken identity, disastrous proposals and a big Bollywood wedding.”
“This sweet debut novel ticks all the boxes for one of summer’s best reads: it’s smart, witty, romantic and utterly charming.”
"Ayesha at Last is a delight from the first word to the last. Rich with cultural texture, replete with social nuance, and brimming with humor, it is one of the best retellings of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.”
“Uzma Jalaluddin blazes a brilliant new trail with Ayesha At Last, a captivating romance set in the Muslim community, brimming with humour and heart. You will fall in love with Ayesha and Khalid—an Elizabeth and Darcy for our times.”
“[An] irresistible debut.”
“Ayesha At Last is a beautiful testament to the power of family, kindness, and getting out of one’s own way.”
"'Ayesha at Last' is light and incandescent and deeply pleasurable from start to finish."
"A delicious and entertaining novel."
“Come for Darcy reimagined as a hyper-conservative young man and Elizabeth Bennet as a wannabe poet frustrated by family obligation; stay for Uzma Jalaluddin’s warm portrait of life for twentysomething Muslims in suburban Toronto struggling to honour their heritage while pursuing their dreams.”
"Jalaluddin constructs a timely and enlightening narrative that validates the experiences of many South Asians and Muslims today, while weaving in universal themes of identity, class, and discrimination....Ayesha at Last's fictional universe acts as a microcosm of a diverse and oft-misunderstood community, and Jalaluddin's compassionate and sensitive writing about it radiates off the page."