The Newlyweds

The Newlyweds

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
11
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A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America's most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.
In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by--and woos--George Stillman online. 
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn't play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them--and Amina returns to Bangladesh--that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations--and real-life complications--of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds--sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds , she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina's heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, c2012.
ISBN: 9780307268846
Characteristics: 337 p. ;,25 cm.

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j
jthomas1527
Aug 31, 2013

I just thought it would be a more thoughtfully written book, which for me means the prose is memorable. I felt no need to reread anything or analyze anything except for the Kim/George situation, of which I'm still confused. The trip back to Bangladesh was a blur of too many characters, but maybe this is what a homecoming is - convoluted.

c
cmb8
Jun 18, 2013

interesting story about online international dating and how it transpired into life in America

WVMLStaffPicks May 31, 2013

Amina is a young, educated Bangladeshi woman looking for a better life. George is an older, lonely American engineer looking for a practical wife. They meet online. They agree to get married. Amina moves to America. It’s easy for a book about an (e)mail order bride to devolve into melodrama and stereotypes, but Freudenberger manages to paint a realistic picture of this modern day arranged marriage between two people who must overcome cross-cultural confusions and complicated past histories to make a future together.

skylars Feb 04, 2013

So-so story about young woman from Bangladesh, marrying American that she met online. What I found interesting was the description of life in the Middle East, Southern Asia, and Bangladesh in particular. The customs, life-style, institutions, etc. Very enlightening.

n
niteReeder
Jan 01, 2013

I had high hopes for this book (I checked out the audiobook), but I was consistently disappointed by 1) the lack of superb writing and fascinating ideas---it just seemed lackluster to me and 2) lack of character development, especially George, and 3) too much predictable miscommunication / misunderstanding throughout the whole book. Kim's storyline seemed confusing -- how does she get rejected from the boyfriend's family, then ends up back in?? Did I miss something? Also, when I got to the end of the audiobook, I thought surely the CD player skipped a chapter or I missed a disc, so I played it back, and received confirmation of a disappointing, unsatisfying ending. I don't expect stories to always conclude with a happy ending, but this story just fizzled with too many unanswered questions.

l
lpreston214
Dec 09, 2012

Excellent story of culture clash, complicated family relationships and missed chances. Amina comes to the U.S. from Bangladesh to marry George in order to better herself and has carefully planned work, school and citizenship in order to bring her parents over also. However, all is bittersweet after she finds out a bit more about her husband?s past relationships and that a Deshi man she loved is still available when she goes back to get her parents. Unfortunately, like many women, Muslim or not, it seems that her wants and desires must always take a back seat to those of the parents, husband or children. A frustrating story that can only really end one way and does, but it?s not the way I wanted.

j
jenniferramp
Oct 21, 2012

this was an awesome read but i didn't want it to end. thinking about it now i can see why she ended it there though, the interesting part of the story was over and by ending there she showed that from then on Amina would be living a "normal" life in America. if this is not the case the author could always write a sequel...yes nell please do!!!!

k
kozakd
Sep 24, 2012

A good examination of what love is and what we think it is or want it to be. It examines marriage as a contract, part spoken and part unspoken. I enjoyed the illustration of cultural differences and how it affects decisions and attitudes.

m
mswendybe
Aug 05, 2012

Interesting novel. Intimate view of a relationship, facing the usual communication issues, not helped by secrets and a cultural divide.

b
booktigger
Jul 20, 2012

I did enjoy reading this book but i have to agree that the ending was a disappointment. Nevertheless, it does give an interesting perspective on how where we grow up can determine our interpretation and understanding of the world. I think it's an especially relevant book when we live a multicultural community to understand how people can have such different perspectives on issues such as living with your parents(or not).

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