Following her marriage, Nazneen moves from her native Bangladesh to live in London's Tower Hamlets. Her life is, on the surface, calm. For years, keeping house and rearing children, she does what's expected of her. Yet she walks a tightrope stretched between her daughters' embarrassment and her husband's resentments. Into the fragile peace walks Karim. He sets questions before her, of longing and belonging; he sparks in her a turmoil that reflects the community's own; he opens her eyes and directs her gaze - but what she sees, in the end, comes as a surprise to them both. Beautifully rendered and, by turns, both comic and deeply moving, Brick Lane establishes Monica Ali as one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.