Brick Lane: A Novel

by Monica Ali | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0743243315 Global Overview for this book
Registered by GirlWithCamera of Dearborn Heights, Michigan USA on 1/13/2010
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by GirlWithCamera from Dearborn Heights, Michigan USA on Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Brick Lane is a really wonderful story. The writing is beautiful. Nazneen is a likable, strong heroine who the reader constantly feels for. You almost want to reach in and strangle her husband, kids, neighbors, supposed "friends." The pace is pretty slow, as you slowly watch the characters change or stay the same, weaving in and out of our good graces.

Ali writes about time in a way that emphasizes and amplifies it so that days feel like years and seconds like long hours. At the same time, character's do not seem to wallow in this slow moving time, but they continue to look in the past or into the future.

Some of my favorite lines or excerpts:

"If doctor gives you pills you must take even in spite I do not know what kind of pill can cure disease of sadness." (140)

"It was as if she had woken one day to find that she had become a collector, guardian of a great archive of secrets, without the faintest knowledge of how she had gotten started or how her collection had grown." (258)

"For several days she stayed in bed and clung to her collapse. She pushed down into it like a diver, struggling against buoyancy, fighting her way into the depths. Where the water clouded with mud, where the light could not reach, where sound died and beyond the body there was nothing: that was where she wanted to be. At times she found this dead space and rested within it." (268)

"For years she had felt she must not relax. If she relaxed, things would fall apart. Only the constant vigilance and planning, the low-level, unremarked and unrewarded activity of a woman, kept the household from crumbling. (272)

"For so many ears, all the permanent fixtures of her life had felt so temporary. There was no reason to change anything, no time to grow anything. And now, somehow, it felt too late. (283)

"When you have fallen low, she told herself, what hurts is pretending you are high." (302)

"An eternity in hell, she told herself. That is already done. She drew no comfort. Is there not a life to get through first?" (303-04)

"... sometimes when it seems that the world is against you, it is tempting to side with the world." (325) Note: A rare quote delivered by Chanu that was not a complete waste of time.

"Unbidden, a memory of Karim came, entering her as he entered her, tearing apart her passive soul." (340)

"Slices of gray sky wedged themselves between the blocks of flats. How small they were. How mean. In Gouripur, when she looked up she saw that the sky reached to the very ends of the earth. Here she could measure it simply by spreading her fingers." (355)

"... a sadness that went beyond words and tears, beyond that place, those causes and consequences, and became a part of their breath, their marrow, to travel with them from now to wherever they went." (402)

"I wasn't me, and you weren't you. From the very beginning to the very end, we didn't see things. What we did--we made each other up." (382)

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