4 out of 4 stars
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A Rift That Lies Between Us by Nasiha Muna follows the lives of Farisa and Caiden from the moment they met. The unlikely duo gets paired up to do an art project in a mutual college class. Whether it was fate or by chance is up for debate. Soon a friendship blossoms between them, but Farisa keeps an emotional distance. Her background as Bangladeshi-Muslim and increasing pressure from her mother to marry a well-off Muslim man causes her to be reserved in her dating life or even befriending someone outside of her religion. Caiden on the other hand is in a long term relationship with his girlfriend Haruko, a social guy in general, and mostly friendly, upbeat and always ready to joke around or to have a good time.
The will-they-won’t-they element of the book is prevalent throughout. This is not your average romantic novel though. Author Nasiha Muna manages to draw inspiration from her Bangladeshi heritage, and her passion for exploring different cultures shines through on each page. With the Muslim culture strongly believing a young woman’s place is next to her husband (whether by love or arrangement), there is no room for freedom of choice when it comes to their sexual orientation. Muna explores the sad consequences of choosing an alternative lifestyle to what is expected in her debut novel via means of Farisa’s friends. All of the supporting characters are well fleshed out and they bring exquisite depth to the story. Essentially it does impact her lifestyle and dating choices in the long run.
I liked that the author gave the reader insight into Caiden’s side of the story even though they drifted apart for quite some time. His character was portrayed as extremely likable and it was easy to see why people liked him so much. He came from a strict Christian background, but chose to not maintain a strong relationship with his family, as he felt it was somewhat forced and he needed to become his own man.
There really wasn’t anything about this book that I can say I disliked. I would compare the writing style to the easy-listening-music-channel; it is easy to read and has a lovely calm pace. If you are looking for an action-packed or erotically-charged book, this one is definitely not for you.
With minimal errors, no profanity and no erotic content, this book is safe to read for all ages, however I would not recommend it to pre-teens, as I don’t believe they would find it interesting.
I am pleased to rate this romantic novel 4 out of 4 stars, and I look forward to reading more of this author’s work in the near future.
A Rift That Lies Between Us
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