David and Ameena

Fairlight. May 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781912054275. pap. $15.95. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Jewish American jazz musician David Greenberg and Muslim British artist Ameena Hamid would never have met if not for their mutual admiration of a spontaneous musical performance on the New York subway. They take this meeting as a sign and arrange a dinner date. From there, they constantly make excuses to meet or talk. Although they recognize that their backgrounds might make their relationship difficult, they agree to live in the moment and not discuss politics or religion—neither is very religious anyway. But life has a way of forcing change, and as David and Ameena each seek elusive fame, their hidden prejudices come to light and may be more than love can overcome.
VERDICT Rao (coauthor, Centaur) makes her solo debut with a novel rich in imagery and emotions. It challenges the reader to look deep into the characters through their actions, as an almost omniscient narrative voice hints at their future. Love or hate them, they are memorable. Recommended.
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