I had a hard time with this book because Amina, the main character, a Bangladeshi woman who marries a man she meets online, didn’t seem to have any idea what she wanted (which makes it hard to invest in whether she gets it or not).
Amina joins the website where she meets and falls in love with the American George in part due to higher aspirations than her small town in Bangladesh can afford her, and they wed despite judgement from Nasir, a former potential suitor and family friend. Amina is a fairly introverted character on the page, so it’s hard to say whether she hides her hopes from George or just is quiet about them; in any case she doesn’t really make it plain that she wants her family to join her in the US (hell, even as a reader, I wasn’t even sure if that had been her plan all along, but George has an even larger secret that he has kept from Amina.
It’s all revealed by the first 40% of the book, and the rest is devoted mostly to Amina’s return to help her parents get American visas, and the complications that follow, including assistance from Nasir and Amina’s apparent attraction to him. Which makes no sense. Amina seems irritated by Nasir for the first half of the book (even though they were once thought to be a good match) so when she returns and suddenly finds herself jealous and attracted to him, it seems to come out of nowhere.
I just didn’t really care for any of the characters; this book felt sort of like hearing about your aunt’s social circle – you don’t know any of the people well enough to get invested in stories about them. Maybe it was just me, but this felt like Jhumpa Lahiri without the ineffable quality that makes her writing sparkle. In any case, not a bad book, just not one I cared for.