The Heart Asks Pleasure First by Karuna Ezara Parikh
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An extraordinary tale of love in a world being torn asunder.
It's a sunny day in 2001 and Daya, a ballet student, is sitting in a park in Wales far away from her home in India. Unbeknownst to her, she is about to meet Aaftab, a young Muslim lawyer from Pakistan, and fall inexplicably in love.
Even as Aaftab battles his heart, their relationship transcends the divides of religion, nationality and language. They forge profound bonds but the cataclysmic events of the year will have dangerous ramifications and push them to confront the most difficult complexities of their lives.
Set in a world of students but breathtaking in its expansiveness, The Heart Asks Pleasure First is a spellbinding first novel that speaks urgently to the frailties of our times. Karuna Ezara Parikh humanizes the big themes of friendship and family, migration and xenophobia, with the deftness of a poet and the magic of a born storyteller.