An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club)

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An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club) by Tayari Jones Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR * TIME * BUSTLE * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION “A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

An American Marriage

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Summary

One of the most anticipated novels of 2018 according to Entertainment Weekly * Goodreads * Esquire * Elle * Cosmopolitan *BBC * Huffington Post * Bustle * Southern Living * Newsday * Bookish * Nylon * iBooks Store “Transcendent . . . Triumphant . . . Gorgeous.”—Elle “A stunning epic love story . . . An exquisite, timely, and powerful novel that feels both urgent and indispensable.”—Edwidge Danticat Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward--with hope and pain--into the future.

An American Marriage

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Summary

'Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear.' - Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay 'An American Marriage is a stunning, epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns, while bursting with realized and unrealized dreams.' - Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory 'An American Marriage asks hard questions about injustice and betrayal, and answers them with a heartbreaking and genuinely suspenseful love story in which nobody's wrong and everybody's wounded.' - Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a deeply insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward - with hope and pain - into the future.

Silver Sparrow

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Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones Summary

From the New York Times Bestselling Author of An American Marriage “A love story . . . Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy . . . Jones’s skill for wry understatement never wavers.” —O: The Oprah Magazine “Silver Sparrow will break your heart before you even know it. Tayari Jones has written a novel filled with characters I’ll never forget. This is a book I’ll read more than once.” —Judy Blume With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist," author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle. Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon's two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode. This is the third stunning novel from an author deemed "one of the most important writers of her generation" (the Atlanta Journal Constitution).

An American Marriage

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION 'A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.' - Barack Obama Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together. A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.

The Untelling

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The Untelling by Tayari Jones Summary

FROM THE AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, AN OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION "Succeeds mightily...truly a wonderful story. Jones is a talent to be reckoned with." - Boston Globe Aria is no stranger to tragedy -- as a young girl, she and her older sister and mother survived a car crash that took the lives of their father and beloved baby sister. And although relations with her remaining family are strained, she's done her best to establish a solid, normal life for herself, living in Atlanta and teaching literacy to girls who have fallen on hard times. But now she has a secret that she's not yet ready to share with Dwayne, her devoted boyfriend, or Rochelle, her roommate and best friend: Aria is pregnant. Or so she thinks. The truth is about to make her question her every assumption and reevaluate the life she has worked so hard to build for herself...as it sends her reeling in a direction she had no idea she was destined to go. PRAISE FOR TAYARI JONES "Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear."-Michael Chabon "Tayari Jones has emerged as one of the most important voices of her generation."-Essence "One of America's finest writers."-Nylon.com "Tayari Jones is a wonderful storyteller." -Ploughshares

Barack and Michelle

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Barack and Michelle by Christopher Andersen Summary

In Barack and Michelle, America’s First Couple is scrutinized in stirring detail by Christopher Andersen, author of thirteen New York Times bestsellers including Jack and Jackie, Somewhere in Heaven, and the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestsellers The Day Diana Died and The Day John Died. Subtitled Portrait of an American Marriage, here is the first in-depth look at the popular U.S. President and his beautiful, brilliant, and stylish First Lady. Andersen, already internationally acclaimed for his intimate portraits of the Kennedys, Bushs, and Clintons now celebrates the unique union of President and Mrs. Obama with Barack and Michelle, shedding fascinating light on a romantic relationship and a political destiny like no other.

Leaving Atlanta

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Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones Summary

FROM THE AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, AN OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION It's the end of summer in Atlanta, and fifth-grade classmates Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover that back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. Because it was the summer during which Atlanta's African-American children were vanishing. The moving story of their struggle to grow up and survive shimmers with the piercing, ineffable quality of childhood, as it captures all the hurts and little wins, the all-too-sudden changes, and the merciless, outside forces that can sweep the young into adulthood and forever shape their lives. PRAISE FOR TAYARI JONES "Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear."-Michael Chabon "Tayari Jones has emerged as one of the most important voices of her generation."-Essence "One of America's finest writers."-Nylon.com "Tayari Jones is a wonderful storyteller." -Ploughshares

Dear Evelyn

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Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page Summary

WINNER OF THE 2018 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE A 2018 KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2018 A TORONTO STAR TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR A WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR A QUILL & QUIRE BEST BOOK OF 2018 Born between the wars on a working-class London street, Harry Miles wins a scholarship and a chance to escape his station, but discovers instead that poetry is what offers him real direction. While searching for more of it he meets Evelyn Hill on the steps of Battersea Library. The two fall in love as the world prepares once again for war, but their capacity to care for each other over the ensuing decades becomes increasingly tested. Twisting and startling, harrowing and deeply tender, Dear Evelyn explores how two very different people come together to shape and reshape each other over a lifetime. It is a compelling and unconventional love story that will leave its mark on any reader who has ever loved.

George and Laura

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George and Laura by Christopher P. Andersen Summary

Draws on research and confidential material to offer a portrait of the marriage of the President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

Jack and Jackie

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Jack and Jackie by Christopher P. Andersen Summary

John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, captured and have held the world's imagination as perhaps no other husband and wife in modern history. With stunning info. from important sources, some of whom were sworn to secrecy until Jackie's death and sealed archival material, Andersen examines their unique partnership. Packed with startling revelations including: never-before-known details of their courtship, and the other men Jackie almost married: the women whose romances with JFK have previously been unreported; the truth about Jack's medical condition; their concerns about infertility, and Jackie's pregnancies; and Caroline and John Jr.'s lives. Ill.

The Average American Marriage

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The Average American Marriage by Chad Kultgen Summary

The Average American Marriage, the long-awaited sequel to Chad Kultgen’s much debated, always controversial The Average American Male, is a matter-of-fact foray into the male mind and sexual fantasy. Now married with children, Kultgen's lewd and sex-obsessed narrator once again offers up his deep (and not so deep) thoughts on love, marriage, kids, and (naturally) sex: from birthday sex to interns to parenting, The Average American Male looks upon the institution of marriage with the same deadpan smirk he has brought to the rest of his sex-addled, perennially disaffected life.

American Marriage

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American Marriage by Priscilla Yamin Summary

As states across the country battle internally over same-sex marriage in the courts, in legislatures, and at the ballot box, activists and scholars grapple with its implications for the status of gays and lesbians and for the institution of marriage itself. Yet, the struggle over same-sex marriage is only the most recent political and public debate over marriage in the United States. What is at stake for those who want to restrict marriage and for those who seek to extend it? Why has the issue become such a national debate? These questions can be answered only by viewing marriage as a political institution as well as a religious and cultural one. In its political dimension, marriage circumscribes both the meaning and the concrete terms of citizenship. Marriage represents communal duty, moral education, and social and civic status. Yet, at the same time, it represents individual choice, contract, liberty, and independence from the state. According to Priscilla Yamin, these opposing but interrelated sets of characteristics generate a tension between a politics of obligations on the one hand and a politics of rights on the other. To analyze this interplay, American Marriage examines the status of ex-slaves at the close of the Civil War, immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century, civil rights and women's rights in the 1960s, and welfare recipients and gays and lesbians in the contemporary period. Yamin argues that at moments when extant political and social hierarchies become unstable, political actors turn to marriage either to stave off or to promote political and social changes. Some marriages are pushed as obligatory and necessary for the good of society, while others are contested or presented as dangerous and harmful. Thus political struggles over race, gender, economic inequality, and sexuality have been articulated at key moments through the language of marital obligations and rights. Seen this way, marriage is not outside the political realm but interlocked with it in mutual evolution.

The Music Shop

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The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce Summary

A love story and a journey through music. The exquisite and perfectly pitched new novel from the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. It's 1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the England. Meanwhile, down a dead-end street, Frank's music shop stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. It attracts the lonely, the sleepless, the adrift. There is room for everyone. Frank has a gift for finding his customers the music they need. Into this shop arrives Ilse Brauchmann--practical, brave, well-heeled. Frank falls for this curious woman who always dresses in green. But Ilse's reasons for visiting the shop are not what they seem. Frank's passion for Ilse seems as misguided as his determination to save vinyl. How can a man so in tune with other people's needs be so incapable of helping himself? And what will it take to show he loves her? The Music Shop is a story about good, ordinary people who take on forces too big for them. It's about falling in love and how hard it can be. And it's about music--how it can bring us together when we are divided and save us when all seems lost.

Ordinary People

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Ordinary People by Diana Evans Summary

Evoking the sharp insight of Little Fires Everywhere and the sweep of NW, an incisive portrait of the bliss and torment of domestic love. Hailed as "one of the most thrilling writers at work today" (Huffington Post), Diana Evans reaches new heights with her searing depiction of two couples struggling through a year of marital crisis. In a crooked house in South London, Melissa feels increasingly that she's defined solely by motherhood, while Michael mourns the former thrill of their romance. In the suburbs, Stephanie's aspirations for bliss on the commuter belt, coupled with her white middle-class upbringing, compound Damian's itch for a bigger life catalyzed by the death of his activist father. Longtime friends from the years when passion seemed permanent, the couples have stayed in touch, gathering for births and anniversaries, bonding over discussions of politics, race, and art. But as bonds fray, the lines once clearly marked by wedding bands aren't so simply defined. Ordinary People is a moving examination of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, and the fragile architecture of love.

Lucky Us

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Lucky Us by Amy Bloom Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. “My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.” So begins this remarkable novel by Amy Bloom, whose critically acclaimed Away was called “a literary triumph” (The New York Times). Lucky Us is a brilliantly written, deeply moving, fantastically funny novel of love, heartbreak, and luck. Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war. Filled with gorgeous writing, memorable characters, and surprising events, Lucky Us is a thrilling and resonant novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life, conventional and otherwise. From Brooklyn’s beauty parlors to London’s West End, a group of unforgettable people love, lie, cheat and survive in this story of our fragile, absurd, heroic species. Praise for Lucky Us “Lucky Us is a remarkable accomplishment. One waits a long time for a novel of this scope and dimension, replete with surgically drawn characters, a mix of comedy and tragedy that borders on the miraculous, and sentences that should be in a sentence museum. Amy Bloom is a treasure.”—Michael Cunningham “Exquisite . . . a short, vibrant book about all kinds of people creating all kinds of serial, improvisatory lives.”—The New York Times “Bighearted, rambunctious . . . a bustling tale of American reinvention . . . If America has a Victor Hugo, it is Amy Bloom, whose picaresque novels roam the world, plumb the human heart and send characters into wild roulettes of kismet and calamity.”—The Washington Post “Bloom’s crisp, delicious prose gives [Lucky Us] the feel of sprawling, brawling life itself. . . . Lucky Us is a sister act, which means a double dose of sauce and naughtiness from the brilliant Amy Bloom.”—The Oregonian “A tasty summer read that will leave you smiling . . . Broken hearts [are] held together by lipstick, wisecracks and the enduring love of sisters.”—USA Today “Exquisitely imagined . . . [a] grand adventure.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Marvelous picaresque entertainment . . . a festival of joy and terror and lust and amazement that resolves itself here, warts and all, in a kind of crystalline Mozartean clarity of vision.”—Elle From the Trade Paperback edition.

You Were There Before My Eyes

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You Were There Before My Eyes by Maria Riva Summary

A woman leaves her Italian village and enters a new world as an immigrant in Detroit in this sweeping novel by a New York Times–bestselling author. In a small village in Italy at the turn of the twentieth century, Jane chafes at stifling routine and tradition. So when an opportunity presents itself to immigrate to America, her hunger for escape compels her to leave everything behind. Far away, in Henry Ford’s factories in Michigan, a new kind of life is taking shape, and it offers gleaming promise for Jane and her young husband. Determined to survive, and even thrive, she will find herself seeking fulfillment and building a family while navigating not just a new language and country, but a world poised on the edge of economic and social revolution, with the Great War looming on the horizon. From the chaos of Ellis Island to the melting pot of a midwestern industrial city, You Were There Before My Eyes is rich with colorful characters and vivid period details, an authentic portrait of the immigrant experience that poignantly captures the ever-evolving nature of the American dream, and “a dazzling historical saga of love, adventure, war, hardship, and discovery” (Allan Levine).

A Particular Kind of Black Man

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A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin Summary

One of Time’s 32 Books You Need to Read This Summer A stunning debut novel, from Rhodes Scholar and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, Tope Folarin about a Nigerian family living in Utah and their uncomfortable assimilation to American life. Living in small-town Utah has always been an uneasy fit for Tunde Akinola’s family, especially for his Nigeria-born parents. Though Tunde speaks English with a Midwestern accent, he can’t escape the children who rub his skin and ask why the black won’t come off. As he struggles to fit in and find his place in the world, he finds little solace from his parents who are grappling with their own issues. Tunde’s father, ever the optimist, works tirelessly chasing his American dream while his wife, lonely in Utah without family and friends, sinks deeper into schizophrenia. Then one otherwise-ordinary morning, Tunde’s mother wakes him with a hug, bundles him and his baby brother into the car, and takes them away from the only home they’ve ever known. But running away doesn’t bring her, or her children, any relief from the demons that plague her; once Tunde’s father tracks them down, she flees to Nigeria, and Tunde never feels at home again. He spends the rest of his childhood and young adulthood searching for connection—to the wary stepmother and stepbrothers he gains when his father remarries; to the Utah residents who mock his father’s accent; to evangelical religion; to his Texas middle school’s crowd of African-Americans; to the fraternity brothers of his historically black college. In so doing, he discovers something that sends him on a journey away from everything he has known. Sweeping, stirring, and perspective-shifting, A Particular Kind of Black Man is a beautiful and poignant exploration of the meaning of memory, manhood, home, and identity as seen through the eyes of a first-generation Nigerian-American.

Jackie, Janet & Lee

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Jackie, Janet & Lee by J. Randy Taraborrelli Summary

*THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* *CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED FOR TELEVISION BY TOMORROW STUDIOS* A dazzling biography of three of the most glamorous women of the 20th Century: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, her mother Janet Lee Auchincloss, and her sister, Princess Lee Radziwill. “Do you know what the secret to happily-ever-after is?” Janet Bouvier Auchincloss would ask her daughters Jackie and Lee during their tea time. “Money and Power,” she would say. It was a lesson neither would ever forget. They followed in their mother’s footsteps after her marriages to the philandering socialite “Black Jack” Bouvier and the fabulously rich Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss. Jacqueline Bouvier would marry John F. Kennedy and the story of their marriage is legendary, as is the story of her second marriage to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Less well known is the story of her love affair with a world renowned architect and a British peer. Her sister, Lee, had liaisons with one and possibly both of Jackie's husbands, in addition to her own three marriages—to an illegitimate royal, a Polish prince and a Hollywood director. If the Bouvier women personified beauty, style and fashion, it was their lust for money and status that drove them to seek out powerful men, no matter what the cost to themselves or to those they stepped on in their ruthless climb to the top. Based on hundreds of new interviews with friends and family of the Bouviers, among them their own half-brother, as well as letters and journals, J. Randy Taraborrelli's book paints an extraordinary psychological portrait of two famous sisters and their ferociously ambitious mother.

First Comes Marriage

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First Comes Marriage by Huda Al-Marashi Summary

A candid, heartfelt love story set in contemporary California that challenges the idea of what it means to be American, liberated, and in love When Huda meets Hadi, the boy she will ultimately marry, she is six years old. Both are the American-born children of Iraqi immigrants, who grew up on opposite ends of California. Hadi considers Huda his childhood sweetheart, the first and only girl he's ever loved, but Huda needs proof that she is more than just the girl Hadi's mother has chosen for her son. She wants what many other American girls have--the entertainment culture's almost singular tale of chance meetings, defying the odds, and falling in love. She wants stolen kisses, romantic dates, and a surprise proposal. As long as she has a grand love story, Huda believes no one will question if her marriage has been arranged. But when Huda and Hadi's conservative Muslim families forbid them to go out alone before their wedding, Huda must navigate her way through the despair of unmet expectations and dashed happily-ever-after ideals. Eventually she comes to understand the toll of straddling two cultures in a marriage and the importance of reconciling what you dreamed of with the life you eventually live. Tender, honest and irresistibly compelling, First Comes Marriage is the first Muslim-American memoir dedicated to the themes of love and sexuality. Huda and Hadi's story brilliantly circles around a series of firsts, chronicling two virgins moving through their first everything: first hand holding, first kiss, and first sexual encounter. First Comes Marriage is an almost unbearably humanizing tale that tucks into our hearts and lingers in our imagination, while also challenging long-standing taboos within the Muslim community and the romantic stereotypes we unknowingly carry within us that sabotage some of our best chances for finding true love.