From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.
As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.
"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.”
"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."
“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.”
“Jalaluddin cleverly illustrates the social pressures facing young Indian-Muslim adults...a highly entertaining tale of family, community, and romance.”
"'Ayesha at Last' is light and incandescent and deeply pleasurable from start to finish."
“This is the book I’ve been waiting for since my long-running Jane Austen obsession. Move over Darcy, Khalid’s in town.”
"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."
“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 honor their heritage while pursuing their dreams.”
“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.”
“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.”
"A delicious and entertaining novel.”
“[An] irresistible debut.”
“Ayesha At Last is a beautiful testament to the power of family, kindness, and getting out of one’s own way.”