Much Ado About Nada

Books on Tape. Jun. 2023. 9:43 hrs. ISBN 9780593739266. $85.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Jalaluddin’s (Hana Khan Carries On) Persuasion-inspired retelling follows Nada Syed, who is quickly approaching 30 and is increasingly under pressure to get married from friends and family in her Muslim Toronto neighborhood. Despite making good money, Nada is heartbroken over a double-crossing partner who stole her dreams of launching her app, Ask Apa. Plus, she’s constantly dodging her mother’s attempts to marry her off. When Nada’s best friend Haleema invites her to a Muslim convention, she discovers that Haleema’s fiancé’s brother, Baz, will also be there. Nada and Baz share a turbulent secret backstory. Can Nada move on from her complicated past? Jalaluddin has written another modern Muslim take on a Jane Austen novel that delves deeply into culture, romance, and classic literature. Narrator Farah Kidwai enhances the story’s ambiance, giving voice to conflicted, seeking Nada, brooding Baz, and Nada’s charming friends and family. Though the time jumps can be difficult to follow in audio, Kidwai’s spirited narration keeps listeners engaged.
VERDICT Jalaluddin has mastered the art of retelling classics, offering a tale that will appeal to listeners searching for cultural sensitivity, romance, and the comfort of hearing a cherished story updated for modern times.
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