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The Obscure Logic of the Heart Paperback – 10 Jun 2010


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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: 15.3 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,476,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Ashford VINE VOICE on 4 Dec 2011
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 By Book.Nerd89 on 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 By S J Keeler on 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 By Yee on 9 Dec 2010
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 By BiBo on 7 Dec 2010
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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