Happy Sunday, everyone!
I’ve written another book review – hurrah! It’s one that I was meant to write 3 months ago…we’ll brush over that part.
Bonnier Zaffre – thank you very much, guys! – sent me an ARC of The Other Half of Happiness by Ayisha Malik earlier this year.
I was so excited to read it as I loved the first book in the series, Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged.
The Other Half of Happiness follows Sofia Khan after she has eloped with her Irish neighbour, Conall.
While her new husband makes a documentary in the Middle East, Sofia flies back home to London to work on a book about Muslim marriage.
As the two grow apart emotionally as well as physically, Sofia’s mother – oblivious to their problems – encourages her daughter to have a big wedding ceremony that all the family can attend.
Life changing secrets are revealed as pressure mounts on the couple & their marriage is pushed to the limit.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series – Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged – and I was really looking forward to diving back into Sofia’s world.
The characters were just as brilliant as they were in the first book – Sofia’s family is bonkers & her friends are so sweet & lovely!
Sofia’s husband Conall was even more moody and elusive than he was before and, although he annoyed me on occasion, I found myself admiring his determination to document what is happening in the Middle East.
The lack of communication between the newlyweds is, in my opinion, the main focus of the novel. It’s so incredibly frustrating that you can’t help but feel as though you’re part of the marriage too. I wanted to shout ‘speak to her!’ at Conall about twenty times.
I feel that Malik did a sterling job of getting the reader so involved in the relationship!
As well as the couple dealing with a long distance relationship, Sofia is also attempting to control the jealousy she feels towards Conall’s stunning colleague who is working beside him.
At times, this is humorous – at others, it’s quite sad. You really feel for Sofia’s predicament as she tries to balance her new married life with her old one.
The Other Half of Happiness is not as easygoing as Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged – your emotions will be pushed to the brink!
Dramatic revelations will have you gasping out loud and moral dilemmas will get you thinking. This book contains themes of serious illness and suicide bombings – it even touches on extremism – and is more relevant than ever in the world we currently live in.
Despite the difficult topics that the book covers, Malik always manage to write sensitively and gracefully.
I read the book quite quickly as it’s fast paced and very dramatic – I felt I needed to keep reading & find out what happened.
Overall, I loved following Sofia’s story a second time but I was shocked and saddened by the ending.
I suppose it shouldn’t have come as much of a shock because Sofia and Conall always like to do the right thing.
But I won’t spoil it too much for you – just read it for yourself 🙂
A romance that is so much more than “chick-lit” – this is one to add to your ‘to-read’ list & an author to keep your eye on.
P.S You may have noticed the new tab ‘Health & Fitness’ up in the top menu! I’ve got rid of my cancer advice website – Those Three Words – and put it all in one handy place 🙂
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