We rated Brick Lane by Monica Ali - B+. Tells the story of Nazneen, her survival and her preparation for an arranged marriage to a Londoner. Expresses a portrait of life in Bangladesh and rich images. Nazneen's mother "had been ripening like a mango on a tree". Nazneen is not a finished person when she arrives in London as a bride for Chanu, but is eager to grow up and struggles to make a life for herself within her traditional marriage and the East End immigrant community. There is a surprising depiction of an adulterous affair. As a good Bengali wife, Nazneen does not enter lightly into her sexual adventure, and her lover, Karim, a fierce young Muslim who wants to radicalise the local community, has deeply held beliefs against promiscuity. The relationship between Nazneen and her husband has a comic touch, with his huge belly and his deluded ambitions, and the corns on his feet that poor Nazneen has to scrape away night after night. He and Nazneen build a strange relationship hurting and yet depending on one another. Nazneen's life in Brick Lane is explained through letters from home, from her sister Hasina who made a love match and who was then forced to leave her violent husband and try to survive on her own, as a factory worker, a prostitute, and a maid. The book showed us how the choices that face the sister in Bangladesh are so much starker than Nazneen's - choices that determine Hasina's survival as well as her happiness. We all felt it would be interesting to see the film version of the book to see how it compares. Most of us who had read the whole book enjoyed it overall.