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This Way Out Kindle Edition
It’s time everyone knew the truth, and what better way to announce you’re getting married (and gay) than on your family WhatsApp group?
Amar can’t wait to tell everyone his wonderful news: he’s found The One, and he’s getting married. But it turns out announcing his engagement on a group chat might not have been the best way to let his strict Muslim Bangladeshi family know that his happy-ever-after partner is a man—and a white man at that.
Amar expected a reaction from his four siblings, but his bombshell sends shockwaves throughout the community and begins to fracture their family unit, already fragile from the death of their mother. Suddenly Amar is questioning everything he once believed in: his faith, his culture, his family, his mother’s love—and even his relationship with Joshua. Amar was sure he knew what love meant, but was he just plain wrong?
He’s never thought of his relationship with Joshua as a love story—they just fit together, like two halves of a whole. But if they can reconcile their differences with Amar’s culture, could there be hope for his relationship with his family too? And could this whole disaster turn into a love story after all?
“This Way Out explores the vastness and intricacy of intercultural relationships alongside religious and spiritual reconnection, mental health, and masculinity in South Asian, Muslim, and LGBTQIA+ cultures, and the power of inclusion and a found family amid love, loss, growth, and change.” —Booklist
“Adored reading This Way Out—deeply-felt and thought-provoking in equal measure…It’s so fresh and original, I pretty much inhaled it.” —Angela Chadwick
“It’s fascinating, absorbing, and vital!” —Matt Cain, author of The Secret Life of Albert Entwistlex and Becoming Ted
“A total treat! This Way Out…is absolutely lovely. I loved its portrayal of the family you are born into and the family you make along the way. It was funny and sad and poignant and heartfelt…highly recommended.” —Bethany Clift, author of Last One at the Party and Love and Other Human Errors
From the Publisher
Coming out to his family in a group chat isn’t exactly the way Amar had planned to deliver the news, but after twenty-eight years of hiding it, the truth is finally out. While he’s used to the acceptance of his and (now-fiancé) Joshua’s London friends, when it comes to his Bangladeshi Muslim family, he knows not everyone is going to be happy. The fallout brings many casualties, leading Amar to question everything he once took for granted—his religion, his culture, his relationship, and his family—as he embarks on a riotous and emotional journey of self-discovery and begins to understand what love (in all its forms) truly means.
Can finally revealing who he truly is help Amar find the right path and lead him to his very own happy ending? This book may not start out as a love story, but let me assure you, it 100% ends that way and will have you, too, laughing, crying, and swooning until the very last page!
—Victoria Oundjian, Editor
- ASIN : B09D3JCQ19
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (1 July 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 2085 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 268 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542037611
- Best Sellers Rank: 20,698 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
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He's in a committed, loving and extremely supportive relationship with Joshua (his religion is never mentioned), who proposed recently. This is where the problem begin, in a whim Amar decided to text his family WhatsApp group to come out and share the wedding news. You can imagine how that one went.
From there everything goes down hill pretty fast, his family not accepting him (as you could expect from a deeply religious family), him spending so much of his time being self absorbed, dramatic and taking the victim role that ends up blaming his fiance for not being an expert in what he might be thinking, feeling or going through (obviously without sharing one thought with him).
This is where I was having some difficulty liking the character. But at the same time is necessary because otherwise we wouldn't see all the soul searching that happens next.
Truly is a ride, and plants the seed for some personal discussion with myself.
It also takes the time to show and expose us to a different culture which is one of the reasons I picked this book
Pros: I loved so many of the main characters and felt completely drawn in. I laughed, I cried, I wanted the book to go on so I didn't have to say goodbye to the characters. Having said that, the book ends beautifully with no obvious loose ends.
I could relate to so much: the interfering mother-in-law who means well but... The loss of a mother taking years to recover from. Wanting to fit in with your family but not always sharing their values.
It also gave me a real heads-up on how easy it is to ignore my privilege.
Cons: Some of the characters were less well drawn than others - I've been both sides of the counselling relationship, and Fiona is more directive than most counsellors I've met.
It gets a bit preachy in places.
Also, there's a level of disbelief needed for some of the events - but this is fiction after all and it makes a good story.
The pros easily outweigh the cons and I'm hoping to see more from this author.
Amar bungles coming out to his devout Muslim Bangladeshi family, doing it by WhatsApp, only to be taken aback by the severity of their hostility. Understandably this shakes the foundations of his life, a situation made worse when his fiancé's middle-class, country-dwelling parents overcompensate.
Questioning not only his faith but also his relationship, Amar is further distressed by the potential loss of his job in the bookshop where he first met his now-fiancé Joshua, and where owner Elijah and best friend Malika form a surrogate family and support network.
Seeking help both from a therapist and an LGBTQ+ Islam message board (an odd anachronism in an otherwise very 2022, Gen X story in which WhatsApp, TikTok and Uber feature heavily!) Amar starts to reconcile his conflicted feelings about his queerness, family and faith, and ultimately reaches satisfying conclusions which acknowledge, sensibly, that while we can't always fit all the pieces of our life together neatly like a jigsaw, we can still make a pretty picture out of the ones that do.
The book isn't perfect; chronologically it spans about a year but some scenarios feel like they could have been tied up in days or weeks) and there are several references to the possibility of a church/religious wedding for the central same-sex couple which isn't, yet, a possibility in the UK, an oversight which I'm surprised made it past the editors. And for all that he is a character one can't fail to sympathise with, Amar can be maddeningly selfish and impulsive at times, making you want to reach into the pages and – lovingly – shake him out of it.
But, as an exploration of race, faith and queerness in modern Britain, it's a fantastic book, compelling reading and highly informative – I think it will give readers of all races, genders and sexualities, of faith or none, much food for thought. It certainly has me!