In Nothing but Love, the author Zeneefa Zaneer captivates the reader from the very first page. Amash, a hard-headed and cynical guy is averse to marriage, but is forced to marry A. B., upon the last wish of his mother with whom he had a strained relationship. A. B., a strong-willed and bold girl comes with the package of a mysterious past. Will Amash marry the no-nonsense practicing Muslimah his mother chose for him? Will A. B. get rid of her past and live in peace? These are some questions that will grip the reader to its end, sometimes making him/her to go back and read some parts to understand better.
The book is clearly written from the heart, with a beautiful writing style. The author’s play of words and twists and turns in the plot intrigues the reader. She also touches upon the history of Sri Lanka, and uses Sri Lankan terms explaining what they mean. Coming from a Tamilian background myself, I felt at ease coming across the terms and didn’t think twice. Issues such as niqab is dealt in a poignant yet smooth manner with teenage characters.
Although there are couple of minor typos, and at times a sudden shift in scenes, it didn’t hinder the flow of reading.
Overall, a wonderful read, with a good mix of masala (spice), emotions, and Islamic teachings.
After all, what is needed in a marriage? Nothing but Love.
Perhaps, another Umm Zakiyyah in the making?