Monica Ali’s brilliant new novel Love Marriage is an absolute pleasure to read. Even at 432 pages, we wanted more! The daring story, about two very different families coming together, pokes at all sorts of issues, including race, class, addiction, and infidelity with unafraid humour—it’s a juicy title that makes for a terrific book club book.
To help heat things up, we’ve put together a discussion guide that we hope will lead to both fun and thought-provoking conversation.
- Can you recall a time when you were dreading introducing your family to someone in your life? What details can you recall? Why were you worried? What was the outcome?
- Monica Ali’s Love Marriage is a captivating social comedy and profoundly moving story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another. Do you have a funny, awkward, endearing encounter to share about bringing two families together?
- Have you ever had to plan an event where you carefully considered how to thoughtfully honour two very different cultures? How did you go about doing that? What was the result?
- Class is something that is examined throughout Love Marriage. This book takes place in London, where classism is perhaps embedded into society a little deeper than here, but what does classism look like in your city? What does being middle class look like these days? Is it different now, than 30-50 years ago? Are we evolving to a post-class society? Or not at all?
- SEX. There’s a lot of talk about sex in this book, as well as some very steamy scenes. How has Ali used sex to push the story forward?
- The theme of assumptions is also handled very cleverly by Ali. Can you share a time in your life when you’ve made assumptions about someone that were entirely incorrect? Or describe a time when you were offended because someone made incorrect assumptions about you?
- This book is loaded with rich, complicated characters. Do you have a favourite? Why do you love him/her the most?
- There’s a lot of ink devoted to food, and how cooking and meals help create a home… how certain food smells bring a strong source of comfort. If you were to write a novel about your own family, what meals would be included?
- How did Love Marriage make you feel? What did you enjoy most about this book?
Find out more about our new monthly book club with Simon & Schuster Canada. Join the conversation on social media with #BooksMakeLifeBetter (because they really do).