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The Obscure Logic of the Heart [Paperback]

Priya Basil
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Jun 2010

A devoted daughter; a secret love; an impossible dilemma...

Lina has always been the apple of her father's strict eye. When she meets Anil, a wealthy, cultured and decidedly liberal student of architecture from Kenya's Asian community, the intensity of her feelings for someone so different takes her by surprise. She is political and he is not; she is of modest background and he is not; she is a Muslim and he is not ...

While Lina's parents still dream of a suitable boy for their eldest daughter, she engages in an intricate game of deceit to hide her blossoming relationship. When Lina's mother chances upon a suitcase of their love letters, a moral chasm threatens to tear the family and the lovers apart.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Airport / Ireland / Export ed edition (10 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385611455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385611459
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,165,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A searing love story ... burns and scorches with wry conviction about young love that refuses to say die" (India Today)

"Priya has done a wonderful job of characterisation. Her description of the turmoil faced by people in love makes the book an interesting and satisfying read" (New Woman)

"What really sets this book apart from others is the beautiful prose used by the author. The descriptions that she uses are breathtaking and you really feel as though you are there with the characters, seeing everything that they are able to see... the ending was so powerful that it will remain with you long after you have finished." (Chrissie'sCorner.co.uk)

Book Description

Big-canvas, provocative new novel from the Commonwealth and Dylan Thomas prize longlisted young author of Ishq and Mushq

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more than just a love story 4 Dec 2011
By H. Ashford VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Anil comes from a wealthy and liberal Sikh family; his background seems a world away from Lina's devout Muslim upbringing, but that doesn't stop them falling in love.

Although we know from the start of the novel that this love took place some time in the past, the reader is still drawn into the story of their love affair and the obstacles placed in their way by family and friends on both sides. Running alongside Lina & Anil's story is a second story of another cross-cultural romance, and parallels between them provided added depth and interest.

The love story is beautifully told; however, the book is much more than that. The author has messages for us about religion and tolerance, the obligations that the love of family and friends place on us, and the dangers of guns and violence. All set against wonderful landscapes of Kenya and Sudan, and the metropolitan bustle of New York.

I have read and reviewed this novel as part of the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written 12 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
As someone who is not a fan of love stories, this novel really struck home. Priya Basil writes in a way which completely absorbs you into her words and explains the complexities and difficulties of forbidden love in a beautiful way. I was left really feeling for the characters of Anil and Lina, and I'm sure this book will stay in my heart for a long time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story of love and diversity 10 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
Quite simply, I couldn't put this down. It starts with a meeting of two people who we know had previously been in a relationship but haven't seen each other in years. The novel unfolds their relationship and the difficulties they faced.

Lina, is from a strict Muslim background and falls in love with Alin, who is Sikh. This is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, her parents forbid the relationship but yet their passion and love is strong. Both characters are very believable but they have many objections to their relationship, including from Alin's best friend, Merc. The book is beautifully written and I loved the vivid descriptions of Kenya and Sudan, where both characters live and work at various points in the novel.

This novel also address global and political issues, it set about a year after 9/11 so shows how people view Islam after the terrorist attacks and it also deals with the illegal Arms trade. The narrtive is interesting as well, as well as the background story, the novel also has many letters and it is not revealed until the end who was writing them.

This is a sensitive portrayal, you feel empathy for the main characters and the family members, all torn with their own beliefs and emotions.

I have read this as part of the Transworld Book Group Reading challenege and I am very grateful since this has introduced me to a new author and I would definitely look out for more in the future - highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning 9 Dec 2010
By Yee
Format:Paperback
"Religion and logic don't mix. They're like oil and water. However much you try shaking them about together, they separate eventually; the oil spreading over the water, the way faith does over reason, asphyxiating it" - this is only one of many thought-provoking sayings you will find in "The Obscure Logic of the Heart", written by the British author Priya Basil, who was already nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with her first novel "Ishq and Mushq" (meaning as much as "Love and Smell").
The romantic novel "The Obscure Logic of the Heart" deals with the relationship between the Muslim Lina Merali who is of humble origin and the wealthy Anil Mayur from Kenya. Although they are totally different in many ways, they love each other implicitly, but however turbulent their love is, it is also connected with many problems like keeping secrets for years from Lina's deeply religious Muslim family, who wouldn't even think of having a non-Muslim son-in-law or the conflict with illegal arms trade in which Anil's dad is the leading figure.
The reader is faced with suspense which occurs throughout the whole book and is amongst other things created by the different points of view, whereby the characters are very well defined and it is very easy to picture them in your mind. Lina's indecisive and inconsistent behavior makes it hard for Anil to find the right solution to satisfy everybody and in the end everything turns out to be different from what they had expected.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! 7 Dec 2010
By BiBo
Format:Paperback
We've read the novel "The Obscure Logic of the Heart" in my English class in school. Although I'm from Germany it wasn't too hard to understand. This love story deals with two protagonists belonging to different religions. Lina, the young woman, is a Muslim and her boyfriend Anil is a member of Sikhism. The novel is about the love between Lina and Anil, a love extremely forbidden by Lina's parents. Even Anil's best friend Merc tries to prevent Anil from dating Lina. In some situations the young couple has to break up. But Lina and Anil always try to find a way back to each other. Beside the action just mentioned a second parallel story happens. It is a similar love story to the first one and the reader waits to understand the connection between both. This creates tension until the end of the novel and makes the story so interesting.
I recommend reading it because you learn a lot about religion and tolerance, about love and money, about guns and violence, about friendship and family. You won't regret this reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
What happens when two people from very different backgrounds meet and fall in love? Anil is from a wealthy Sikh family whose home is in Nairobi whilst Lina is from a close, middle... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scholastica
4.0 out of 5 stars Romeo and Juliet for our Times?
Priya Basil's publishers have marketed this book as 'an epic Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century'. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kate Hopkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read
The Obscure Logic of the Heart is the first Priya Basil book I have read. And I wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Mr Mehul Bakrania
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent read..
I read this as part of the Transworld Reading Challenge. Not necessarily the type of book I would usually pick off the shelf, but nevertheless an interesting, intelligent read. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by elizaco
4.0 out of 5 stars 'She is the one, he thought.'
Anil and Lina meet at University in London. He feels an immediate and strong attraction to her, and enlists his friends to help him meet her. Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by L. H. Healy
3.0 out of 5 stars Big promise, small passion.
The new Romeo and Juliet for the modern age? This had all the right ingredients but strangely it didn't quite hit the mark for me. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Elka
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a book club
Yes it's a love story - as the title suggests - but putting in that category only would be seriously restricting the breadth of the book. Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2011 by quiltwhileyoureahead
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a love story
The Obscure Logic of the Heart is the story of Anil Mayur and Lina Merali who meet as students and fall in love. The problem is, Anil's family are Sikhs and Lina's are Muslims. Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2011 by Helen S
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing....
Whilst studying in London, Anil and Lina meet and fall in love. Yet they come from very different backgrounds; Anil is a non-practising Sikh from a wealth Kenyan family, and Lina... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by jaffareadstoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Complex Story
The publishers have been marketing this story as 'Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century', so it wouldn't be unfair to expect a love story with some tragedy. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Lincs Reader
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