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"This beautiful, romantic memoir grabs you from the first page and won't let you go. Told with heart, wit and quiet restraint, How We Met is the story of how we can transcend the expectations of others and arrange our own happiness in life and in love." - Viv Groskop You can't choose who you fall in love with, they say. If only it were that simple. Growing up in Walsall in th "This beautiful, romantic memoir grabs you from the first page and won't let you go. Told with heart, wit and quiet restraint, How We Met is the story of how we can transcend the expectations of others and arrange our own happiness in life and in love." - Viv Groskop You can't choose who you fall in love with, they say. If only it were that simple. Growing up in Walsall in the 1990s, Huma straddled two worlds - school and teenage crushes in one, and the expectations and unwritten rules of her family's south Asian social circle in the other. Reconciling the two was sometimes a tightrope act, but she managed it. Until it came to marriage. Caught between her family's concern to see her safely settled down with someone suitable, her own appetite for adventure and a hopeless devotion to romance honed from Georgette Heyer, she seeks temporary refuge in Paris and imagines a future full of possibility. And then her father has a stroke and everything changes. As Huma learns to focus on herself she begins to realise that searching for a suitor has been masking everything that was wrong in her life: grief for her father, the weight of expectation, and her uncertainty about who she really is. Marriage - arranged or otherwise - can't be the all-consuming purpose of her life. And then she meets someone. Neither Pakistani nor Muslim nor brown, and therefore technically not suitable at all. When your worlds collide, how do you measure one love against another? As much as it is about love, How We Met is also about falling out with and misunderstanding each other, and how sometimes even our closest relationships can feel so far away. Warm, wise and ultimately uplifting, this is a coming-of-age story about what it really means to find 'happy ever after'.


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"This beautiful, romantic memoir grabs you from the first page and won't let you go. Told with heart, wit and quiet restraint, How We Met is the story of how we can transcend the expectations of others and arrange our own happiness in life and in love." - Viv Groskop You can't choose who you fall in love with, they say. If only it were that simple. Growing up in Walsall in th "This beautiful, romantic memoir grabs you from the first page and won't let you go. Told with heart, wit and quiet restraint, How We Met is the story of how we can transcend the expectations of others and arrange our own happiness in life and in love." - Viv Groskop You can't choose who you fall in love with, they say. If only it were that simple. Growing up in Walsall in the 1990s, Huma straddled two worlds - school and teenage crushes in one, and the expectations and unwritten rules of her family's south Asian social circle in the other. Reconciling the two was sometimes a tightrope act, but she managed it. Until it came to marriage. Caught between her family's concern to see her safely settled down with someone suitable, her own appetite for adventure and a hopeless devotion to romance honed from Georgette Heyer, she seeks temporary refuge in Paris and imagines a future full of possibility. And then her father has a stroke and everything changes. As Huma learns to focus on herself she begins to realise that searching for a suitor has been masking everything that was wrong in her life: grief for her father, the weight of expectation, and her uncertainty about who she really is. Marriage - arranged or otherwise - can't be the all-consuming purpose of her life. And then she meets someone. Neither Pakistani nor Muslim nor brown, and therefore technically not suitable at all. When your worlds collide, how do you measure one love against another? As much as it is about love, How We Met is also about falling out with and misunderstanding each other, and how sometimes even our closest relationships can feel so far away. Warm, wise and ultimately uplifting, this is a coming-of-age story about what it really means to find 'happy ever after'.

30 review for How We Met: A Memoir of Love and Other Misadventures, 'Will add sunshine to your year'. Stylist, best non-fiction 2021

  1. 5 out of 5

    Possibly in Michigan, London

    I read this last night - apologies for writing the longest review in the world. This is an account by a British Muslim woman of meeting her white boyfriend, now-husband, and introducing him to her family - it is also an account of how she 'met herself'. I have a similar-ish background: South Asian, British and with Muslim parents (although not religious myself). We're also about the same age so we both grew up at a time when having all those facets to your identity wasn't something explored or r I read this last night - apologies for writing the longest review in the world. This is an account by a British Muslim woman of meeting her white boyfriend, now-husband, and introducing him to her family - it is also an account of how she 'met herself'. I have a similar-ish background: South Asian, British and with Muslim parents (although not religious myself). We're also about the same age so we both grew up at a time when having all those facets to your identity wasn't something explored or reflected back in the media. So obviously, I totally lapped this up, despite not often reading memoirs. I read this super-quickly, probably over three hours with a break. Qureshi's prose - whatever she's describing - is both fluid and measured. While we get the story of how she introduced her husband to her (initially) unaccepting family, we also see her journey to meeting him, which is made up of her leaving home properly for the first time after university, several marriage 'introductions' by well-meaning relatives, her grieving over her father's unexpected death, moving to London for her job at the Observer before leaving to become freelance, her attempts to take charge of the whole marriage process before (thankfully) she meets Richard, her future husband. At the end, the writer says that her story isn't exceptional and doesn't fit any one's idea of what stories are worth telling, but that's not true. It's pretty exceptional in that stories about these kinds of marriages - and the acceptance of them - usually go untold because people just get on with them quietly or the stories only get told when there's capital D-drama (death, discord). We know that her family accepted him after a few months (though she says, without elaborating, one of her brothers took longer). But there's a lot before that, as I've said, and some of it is really affecting. You could describe this memoir as either generous or elusive - depends on what you're after as a reader. Sometimes the writer hints that home life was more emotionally chaotic or bruising than she's willing to go into. Yet I can't really picture her mother or her father (although we learn their educational and professional backgrounds). There was so much that she didn't go into. Her mother reads her letters when she's a teenager but then the writer says, after the incident, 'I sulked around afterwards' - and it's like what happened? Why are you making yourself look bad when it’s the other way around? There's also a passing mention towards the end - one line - of years of therapy undertaken specifically to deal with the self-esteem issues? Okay. I don't quite understand/get why the writer had such a bad self-image. There's one passage where she describes the experience of realising as a teenager that she will never be like her white friends - and that feeling recurs, that she will have to pull back from opportunities they can embrace. Apart from this one passage, the author never connects her ongoing, pervasive feeling of personal dissatisfaction really explicitly to any particular incident or set of experiences. When she's in her twenties, her parents and then her mother 'introduce' her to several people of a similar background. She's begrudging but then after her father's death, the search takes on a new urgency. Most of all, she *wants* to be married because she's a deeply romantic person and she wants to fit in - living by herself compounds her loneliness. Having watched the process of a suitable match happen, I know it's completely horrible — it absolutely destroys your self-esteem because whatever you value about yourself appears completely worthless and whatever you 'lack' (that you never cared about in the first place) becomes definitive. Maybe that concretised her self-hatred? Superficially, she appears to be pretty successful, not in any way held back by her poor self-image. She goes to Paris to study (her extremely middle-class parents positively encouraged her, even though it's hinted at earlier that it was a big deal for a young, unmarried woman in her community to move abroad on her own). She gets a job at the Observer through an advert in her early 20s, which appears to be the first job she applied for (to be clear, the Guardian in the 2000s is an unfriendly environment for people of colour); when she goes freelance, before she's thirty, lots of editors of national newspapers and prestigious publications already know/like her. Like, idk, the feeling of emptiness might also just be a feeling of...elusive perfection? Saying that, the unsatisfying perfect career is a real trope of the modern memoir. Work in an office isn’t the answer - she feels held back at The Observer but she never talks about race or gender in that super-reflexive, intimate way that we've become used to. I think that's fine. I just wish there was more connecting tissue in the book, but maybe I don’t read enough memoirs and they are meant to be less focused or point-filled than other non-fiction. Her husband is also sketched out quite briefly, but his decision to convert and the fact that it makes the writer understand her own faith anew was really interesting. I liked that her faith was never in contention or ever up for debate. I liked the fact that she never tried to make it make sense to a reader who isn't Muslim or might have preconceptions of what being a Muslim woman is like. In this instance, the absence of explanation seemed a real and structurally sound choice. There were lots of parts of the book that I related to, as well as recognised, even if marriage and faith aren't my values: the overbearing community; that amazing feeling when you first move away from home and you have your own space after always being watched so closely; wanting to enjoy your time on your own (the writer describes not having curtains in her new flat - she would so categorically have really nice curtains, that was the only detail that stood out to me). Basically, all the times she spent on her own I enjoyed, lol. This isn't a super-reflexive book- where the writer pre-empts your assumptions - apart from the end, where she shows a keen awareness of what a reader might have expected from a memoir by a Muslim British-Pakistani woman ('I'm not sorry to disappoint you'). I wish it was less generous sometimes, or maybe less evasive, or better at making connections. Then again, the point is - there's not only one story and what we need is more memoirs (can't believe I've said that) and more writing and not expect one person to share their experience in their entirety, and answer all our (my) questions. Qureshi has a short story collection out later this year - she won the Harper's Bazaar prize - and there is an earlier collection of non-fiction accounts called Migrant Voices. Both of these look/sound great and I'm definitely intrigued based on this book. tdlr; good book even if you don't read memoirs

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    Huma had me laughing and crying on alternate pages almost throughout. The writing is tender, loving and thoughtful. It absolutely is quietly radical. Her honesty is endearing and courageous. Hers is not a story of triumphing over an oppressive culture and escaping it. It is a gently profound insight into her experience of grief, of ambition, of finding self-worth, of embracing her culture and religion on her own terms, and yes, of finding love too. I picked up How We Met last night just to have a Huma had me laughing and crying on alternate pages almost throughout. The writing is tender, loving and thoughtful. It absolutely is quietly radical. Her honesty is endearing and courageous. Hers is not a story of triumphing over an oppressive culture and escaping it. It is a gently profound insight into her experience of grief, of ambition, of finding self-worth, of embracing her culture and religion on her own terms, and yes, of finding love too. I picked up How We Met last night just to have a little flick through and read the first few paragraphs to get a feel of it. Before I knew it, I’d stayed up way past my bedtime and finished it! It is the perfect pick me up in these dreary times even with some of its more heavier themes such as loss, or perhaps even more so because of how Huma so gently and safely deposits the reader to the other side of her grief and presents that though altered, life goes on and there is still joy and laughter and love to be found.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amal Bedhyefi

    It's the 19th of March and though it's meant to be springtime, it has been raining the entire day. Curled up under my cosy blanket with a coffee, I caught a glance at a book I've received lately. It has been sitting on my bedside table as if it's waiting for me to pick it up. So I did. Two hours later, I reached the acknowledgements part with teary eyes. What an exquisite ride through Hema's life it's been. This is not your fairytale one-in-a-million love story. This is, in fact, an ordinary tal It's the 19th of March and though it's meant to be springtime, it has been raining the entire day. Curled up under my cosy blanket with a coffee, I caught a glance at a book I've received lately. It has been sitting on my bedside table as if it's waiting for me to pick it up. So I did. Two hours later, I reached the acknowledgements part with teary eyes. What an exquisite ride through Hema's life it's been. This is not your fairytale one-in-a-million love story. This is, in fact, an ordinary tale of how love always wins at the end. "But this doesn't mean that stories like mine", Hema Says, "everyday stories of falling in love and growing up, arguing with your parents and then making up, sadness and joy and life in all its shades and nuances, the moments that give meaning to life don't deserve to be told." Huma's book brought much-needed comfort on such a gloomy day, not because it was downright groundbreaking, but because it was genuine, authentic, and simple. It felt like catching up with a dear friend over a warm cup of tea one afternoon. Or when you're at a Cafè and you randomly start a heartfelt conversation with a stranger close by only ending up by sharing too much, seamlessly. I kept thinking of other books when reading this; Zeba Talkhani's My Past is a Foreign Country and Elif Shafak's Black Milk in particular. I'm reminded once again why books like these are essential. They're what I like to call "A story in the form of a hug". A hug saying that in an overly sophisticated world, people with similar love stories exist and that it's okay if you're lost or you still haven't figured it out yet. A hug that glues the little fractures of your soul back together and restores your faith in life, especially during these challenging times. So for this, thank you Huma Qureshi for sharing your beautiful story, and for accompanying me during this Friday afternoon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liv

    HOW WE MET: A memoir of love and other misadventures by Huma Qureshi "But that doesn't mean that stories like mine, everyday stories of falling in love and growing up, arguing with your parents and then making up, sadness and joy and life in all its shades and nuances, the moments that give meaning to life, don't deserve to be told." " How We Met is an absolutely beautiful memoir that brought more than one tear to my eye. Huma Qureshi talks about her experiences of love, of grief, of fa HOW WE MET: A memoir of love and other misadventures by Huma Qureshi "But that doesn't mean that stories like mine, everyday stories of falling in love and growing up, arguing with your parents and then making up, sadness and joy and life in all its shades and nuances, the moments that give meaning to life, don't deserve to be told." " How We Met is an absolutely beautiful memoir that brought more than one tear to my eye. Huma Qureshi talks about her experiences of love, of grief, of family, of her struggles to value herself and see her own self-worth. This book is relatable and emotional and drew me in to read it all in a single afternoon. Qureshi's memoir details how she met her English husband Richard, who was not considered to be a suitable suitor. Not Pakistani or Muslim he technically was never a suitable match. She jumps back from their initial meeting to then discuss her upbringing in Walsall in the 1990s, her time spent in Paris and the difficulties following her father's stroke. This all serves as the backdrop as she explores her feelings, emotions and the concept of love throughout her life. There are certainly moments of sadness in this book, but I found it so utterly comforting as at the heart of it the book is about love. Love of family, of friendships, of a partner, and also love of yourself. Huma Qureshi's struggle to find love is something I believe many of us can relate to, but ultimately the acceptance and love of ourselves is often overlooked in the process. This book has had a lot of praise and it is honestly so beautiful. Qureshi has a collection of short stories coming out later in 2021 and I will almost certainly be looking to pick those up as her writing really drew me in. A favourite of the year for sure ✨ Thanks to publishers for the copy in exchange for a review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    How We Met details how the author met her husband, everything that came before and the pressures of dating expectations growing up in an Asian community. The only way I could describe this book is like when someone asks ‘how did you two meet?’ and then an entire story runs through your head only for you to respond ‘oh we met at ...’ this book is the story that goes through your mind that you’d never share for fear of over sharing but I loved it! I wish more people would tell their stories becaus How We Met details how the author met her husband, everything that came before and the pressures of dating expectations growing up in an Asian community. The only way I could describe this book is like when someone asks ‘how did you two meet?’ and then an entire story runs through your head only for you to respond ‘oh we met at ...’ this book is the story that goes through your mind that you’d never share for fear of over sharing but I loved it! I wish more people would tell their stories because they are the best! This is so beautifully written with moments of joy and heartbreak throughout, I loved it. As someone who doesn’t read many memoirs this is perfect, as it reads like fiction - this book is published today and I would highly recommend it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yousra

    If you loved Zeba Talkhani’s memoir My Past is a Foreign Country, you are going to LOVE well-known British Asian journalist Huma Qureshi’s memoir How We Met, which comes out in January 2021! Thank you @elliottandthompson for the proof, I devoured it in one day. How We Met is NOT your conventional Muslim Asian woman meets non-Muslim white boy. There is no young Muslim Asian woman here being rescued by a white man. There is no oppressive family. It’s the tale of Huma’s journey to finding her husban If you loved Zeba Talkhani’s memoir My Past is a Foreign Country, you are going to LOVE well-known British Asian journalist Huma Qureshi’s memoir How We Met, which comes out in January 2021! Thank you @elliottandthompson for the proof, I devoured it in one day. How We Met is NOT your conventional Muslim Asian woman meets non-Muslim white boy. There is no young Muslim Asian woman here being rescued by a white man. There is no oppressive family. It’s the tale of Huma’s journey to finding her husband, how she convinced her family to marry him, and a heartwarming memoir of growing up in the Asian community in the UK, being a woman who wants more for her life but also having parents who were supportive and who made her happiness, education and career a priority. Huma delves into the make-up of Asian society in the UK, and the pressures that she faced as a young woman to get married to a “suitable boy,” something that many women of colour including myself can resonate with. It’s such an important tale for other women to read, to understand you can come to a point where having yourself is enough - and not to feel like you are only worthy as a woman when you have a wedding ring on your finger. Huma’s anecdotes about her children are heartwarming, her relationship with her brilliant father made me cry and I just loved her husband so much from reading this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Humaira

    I finished this book in just a few hours because Huma’s writing is just so beautiful and engaging. I expected this to be a full blown dramatic story but it’s a story for all the women who are walking their own path and not focusing so much on marrying the person that society expects. Huma shares that she had to find herself first before she could allow her husband Richard into her life. The Sad Girl years are very familiar but also give a lot of hope. Overall, this is a delightful read, very much a I finished this book in just a few hours because Huma’s writing is just so beautiful and engaging. I expected this to be a full blown dramatic story but it’s a story for all the women who are walking their own path and not focusing so much on marrying the person that society expects. Huma shares that she had to find herself first before she could allow her husband Richard into her life. The Sad Girl years are very familiar but also give a lot of hope. Overall, this is a delightful read, very much a balm for the soul in these trying times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aisha Patel

    An absolutely beautiful memoir that highlights the struggles of being a Muslim woman with unconventional wants in a desi community and the pressures that they face to get marry a "suitable boy". There are two love stories here. The first where she falls in love with a white man and the tumultuous journey of convincing her family to accept their union and the second is where she falls in love with herself. Both are extraordinarily heart-warming. Her story is beautiful and a must-read for people w An absolutely beautiful memoir that highlights the struggles of being a Muslim woman with unconventional wants in a desi community and the pressures that they face to get marry a "suitable boy". There are two love stories here. The first where she falls in love with a white man and the tumultuous journey of convincing her family to accept their union and the second is where she falls in love with herself. Both are extraordinarily heart-warming. Her story is beautiful and a must-read for people who feel guilty for wanting more than their community and culture offers. I think there is guilt and shame associated with wanting more for ourselves, at least in the desi community. You dream of moving out and having a space for yourself, because you want to see the person you can become, to discover yourself in your solitary routines and cultivate a life that makes you feel accomplished? But the reality is, at least for women, wanting a life away from your family means you are a selfish wild thing, "too" westernised. But, she dares us to acknowledge that we are on the brink of achieving something amazing, we just have to take that final leap. Whether that is moving out, writing, talking about your truth. I want to put a disclaimer about what this story is * not *. It is not about a Muslim girl trying to escape her conservative family, and finally being rescued by a white knight. There is no oppressive family or forced marriage. There is miscommunication, cultural barriers and the difficulty of navigating "western" ideas with our brown family. The memoir makes us question what beliefs and values are really important to us, where we got them from and if it's really more than a label. For many us, it's a requirement that we choose partners who share the same religion as us - but do we really care about what that label means, or is it just a pacifier to keep the tacky aunties from talking behind your back? It can be a scary thing to look inwards and question our own toxicity and shed away the layers and identities we adopted for the sake of others. But it's a necessary step in achieving happiness.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Rockett

    When Huma joined our lecture to talk about her new memoir, her book deal, her writing process, I immediately liked her. We all did in fact, my classmates and I flooding our group text threads. "Isn't she lovely" we said, "what a lovely energy" we said, "I don't know her, but I am instantly rooting for her" we said. Huma's memoir has the same effect on the brain as spending an afternoon with an old friend. It's the literary equivalent of a conversation shared over a pot of tea that lasts long aft When Huma joined our lecture to talk about her new memoir, her book deal, her writing process, I immediately liked her. We all did in fact, my classmates and I flooding our group text threads. "Isn't she lovely" we said, "what a lovely energy" we said, "I don't know her, but I am instantly rooting for her" we said. Huma's memoir has the same effect on the brain as spending an afternoon with an old friend. It's the literary equivalent of a conversation shared over a pot of tea that lasts long after the tea is poured. It's touted as a romantic memoir but really How We Met reads to me more like a coming of age tome. Huma's journey to accepting herself, accepting her culture, finding confidence and love, muddling through grief, it's all poignant and thoughtful and at times heartbreaking, but above all relatable. Huma herself describes her story as 'ordinary' and that is where the magic lies. She brings to life the ordinary human experience in a way that leaves you under her spell. Above all it's her descriptions of living with grief that stay with me. "Other times, my sadness followed so closely in my footsteps I couldn't outrun it." "I frequently felt as though I was looking in from the outside, a moth battling against a window before falling away" "For most of my twenties there was a loneliness inside me. It stemmed from grief, but turned into something else. Whatever it was, it was ungentle and grasping, like fingers at a throat. It welled up inside me and rolled around in the empty expense of my heart, rattling in the corners; it was there, always." Despite these haunting words, Huma's memoir is overwhelmingly positive, we know there's a happy ending from the very first pages, and despite all she's been through continues to find the joy. Our first impressions of Huma were so right, and she truly deserves her every day happy ending.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zainub Reads

    Too often we come across narratives that vilify traditional Muslim parents and brothers as the face of evil incarnate or in some instances liberal such that religion plays absolutely no role in the character’s upbringing or the story itself. And it is indeed rare to come across voices that are balanced, nuanced and have characters that are trying to navigate the hurdles of life while staying within the boundaries set by well-meaning and supportive parents, with a heart full of faith and the best Too often we come across narratives that vilify traditional Muslim parents and brothers as the face of evil incarnate or in some instances liberal such that religion plays absolutely no role in the character’s upbringing or the story itself. And it is indeed rare to come across voices that are balanced, nuanced and have characters that are trying to navigate the hurdles of life while staying within the boundaries set by well-meaning and supportive parents, with a heart full of faith and the best of intentions leading the way. The story is narrated with alternating chapters of the past, as the author recounts her journey of finding her place in the world and the pressures of society to “settle down” -that is by marriage to a “suitable boy”, and chapters of the present where she is married to a wonderful person and a mum of three lovely kids. This memoir ticks all the boxes for an interesting, timely, relevant and honest portrayal of a lot of Muslim communities and individuals who face the everyday dilemma of expectations and societal pressure while struggling with their self-worth. Recommended reading for everyone and even more for those who think they are struggling with finding the “right person” and are doubting themselves. Don’t feel pushed to settle for just anyone, remember that no marriage is better than a bad marriage. And also, nobody’s born with a marry-by date, you are a human being not a packet of chips! The beauty of this story is in its simplicity and I’m sure it will resonate with a lot of readers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The chapters of grief are so eloquent and gentle that I wanted to reach into the book and hug the author 💛 Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hamza

    It feels like a warm hug! It is an absolutely beautiful memoir.

  12. 4 out of 5

    safiyareads

    Several of my favourite Booksta accounts have already read this one and proclaimed their love for it (I’m paraphrasing) so I started this book with that reassuring feeling that it was going to be a great read. I wasn’t disappointed. What a treasure of a book. Huma’s memoir tells the story of how she married her white, English husband but that’s only one element of it. She takes us through her twenties and her journey to self-confidence amid the rejections and scrutiny of trying to find a suitable Several of my favourite Booksta accounts have already read this one and proclaimed their love for it (I’m paraphrasing) so I started this book with that reassuring feeling that it was going to be a great read. I wasn’t disappointed. What a treasure of a book. Huma’s memoir tells the story of how she married her white, English husband but that’s only one element of it. She takes us through her twenties and her journey to self-confidence amid the rejections and scrutiny of trying to find a suitable match. This memoir is never about the author rejecting her culture or faith, or wanting to escape them (or be rescued by a white saviour). It’s simply about her experiences and the fact that she happened to fall in love with a white guy. Huma says herself that this isn’t a story filled with drama and arguments but that doesn’t mean it was easy. And it’s a story well worth telling because it provides nuance where it is lacking and most importantly it’s real. I’m so glad she wrote this and shared it with the world. There were many moments that I related to in some way or saw myself in. Her experience of grief and periods low self-esteem. I absolutely loved reading about the start of her writing career and also the way motherhood impacted it. Also have to mention my love for the insights into Huma in Paris (a Netflix show I’d find much more relatable). The anxiety that she spoke of leading up to telling her family about her choice of potential husband brought back memories of the crippling anxiety I felt before I told my family I was converting to Islam. My favourite aspect of the book was Huma’s journey to contentment in herself before she met her husband, it was truly heartwarming and uplifting. I know it’s early to say but this will be a stand out read of the year for me. Very excited about Huma’s short story collection coming out later this year. Thank you so much to Elliott and Thompson for reaching out and sending me a copy of this wonderful book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

    I was kindly approved for a copy of this book by NetGalley and the publishers a few days ago; I decided to start reading it that same evening and finished the whole thing in almost one sitting. Since then, I’ve tried to put together a review but found that most of my thoughts were coming out pretty much incoherent – this was a book that resonated with me so deeply that I’ve had to take a few days to think about and process it before writing down my thoughts. That being said, I can’t promise that I was kindly approved for a copy of this book by NetGalley and the publishers a few days ago; I decided to start reading it that same evening and finished the whole thing in almost one sitting. Since then, I’ve tried to put together a review but found that most of my thoughts were coming out pretty much incoherent – this was a book that resonated with me so deeply that I’ve had to take a few days to think about and process it before writing down my thoughts. That being said, I can’t promise that this review will be entirely coherent, but I’ll give it a shot because I NEED people to read this when it comes out at the start of next year. How We Met is a memoir by Huma Qureshi, an award-winning writer and journalist from the West Midlands who now lives in London with her husband and three kids. I hadn’t heard of Qureshi before reading this book, nor recall coming across any of her work, so her story was completely new to me. Throughout the book, Qureshi recalls her experiences of growing up in a Pakistani Muslim household in the West Midlands, her relationship with her family and the community, leaving home and figuring out what she should do with her life and where she belongs, and meeting her now-husband (a White British man who wasn’t a Muslim before they met). If you take a look at this book on my Kindle, you’ll notice that part of the text is highlighted on almost every page. To say that I related to this book is probably an understatement. Reading this memoir, I felt like Qureshi had peeked into my head, trawled through my past and present, and presented her findings on the page, articulating many of my thoughts, anxieties, and experiences much more coherently and eloquently than I could ever manage. She talks about many things that I think most females* brought up in the UK in a South Asian immigrant family can relate to – the pressure to get married, the responsibility to your parents and family, the constant comparisons to other family members and people in the community, dealing with gossip and everyone having an opinion on what you’re doing with your life – as well as other topics that I could relate to on a more personal level (and I’m sure many others will too), such as mental health, grief, and struggling with self-confidence and self-worth. The title of this book and the description suggests that this is a book centred around Qureshi’s love story – how she met her husband, them falling in love, the prejudice they faced from the wider community for their relationship, and their struggle to find acceptance from her family – and it does touch on these things. I found their story to be really sweet and it was really nice to read that things worked out for them and their family. I’m also certain that any South Asian girls who are in or have been in a similar situation to Qureshi and her husband – as in, are in an interracial relationship and have received or are worried about receiving a negative reaction from their family – will find a lot of comfort and hope when reading about how Qureshi and her husband got through it. However, for me, this was a coming-of-age story more than anything else, about struggling through your 20s, trying to tread the balance between fulfilling your duties to your family and carving out your own life, and growing to believe in and love yourself. I think everyone will find something in Qureshi’s story that they relate to. Content aside, I also really liked the writing style. Qureshi is an excellent writer; the way she weaves together narratives of her life and approaches important discussions such as racism and misogyny in the South Asian community is done really well. As I’ve mentioned, this was a book that I really saw myself in, and I think part of the reason why it really impacted and had a lasting impression on me is that there was something comforting and familiar about Qureshi’s writing; it felt like a conversation from an older family member or friend and them giving me advice and telling me that life is crazy in your 20s, but things will work out. I’d really urge you to read this book if you haven’t already – it’s out in the UK in January 2021 and is available to pre-order now. For those from a similar background to the author, I think, like me, you’ll really appreciate reading about the life of someone from a similar background as you. And if you’re not, I’m certain that there’s a lot you’ll learn as well as plenty that you’ll also be able to relate to in Qureshi’s story. I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Due to numerous lockdowns, I feel like I've read anything and everything in the genre I normally read. This morning I read an extract of this book in an online newspaper and I don't know why it interested me so much but I really liked the authors writing style. I went on Netgalley and saw it was available, so downloaded it and have read it cover to cover today! Firstly, I love this authors writing style, she's a very good writer (she worked as a Journalist before going freelance and writing ficti Due to numerous lockdowns, I feel like I've read anything and everything in the genre I normally read. This morning I read an extract of this book in an online newspaper and I don't know why it interested me so much but I really liked the authors writing style. I went on Netgalley and saw it was available, so downloaded it and have read it cover to cover today! Firstly, I love this authors writing style, she's a very good writer (she worked as a Journalist before going freelance and writing fiction). I also felt like I really got to know her through the book and have since followed her on Instagram and looked through all her photos (I'm not sure why she ever felt bad about herself or that she wasn't good enough?). Having read the extract, I assumed the book would be just about her meeting her now husband Richard and how they overcame her families disapproval but instead, I would say this book is more about Huma and how it came to be that she didn't have her first proper relationship until she was nearly 30 and when she met Richard. This story had me shed a few tears along the way especially over what happened with her father but also, I felt sad for Huma that she had to give up her year in Paris (where it seemed she was really happy for maybe the first time in her life?). Also, at times it seemed she led quite a lonely life so I'm happy for her that she found Richard. Huma details her upbringing, her University days, Paris, living in London, owning her first flat, her independence yet still having to stick to her Muslim way of life in a Western world (although she does not wear traditional clothing or cover her hair). Of course her parents want to find her a husband but they also encourage her studies. As time goes on and Huma gets older, it seems time to seriously consider finding a husband. Some of the stories are funny, some quite sad but none of the suitors particularly interested Huma who from a young age had always wanted to fall in love and marry rather than have her parents find her a husband. I would say we only really get to read about 'how we met' towards the end of the book and this is the reason I dropped a star as I liked Richard and liked reading about their 'romance' so I felt a bit short changed that we didn't get to read more about them and also that although her family definitely weren't happy about her wanting to marry a white man that towards the end, there was too much telling rather than showing how they overcame this although maybe that was too private? After all it's called 'how we met' not 'how we overcame the obstacles to be together'?! I really enjoyed this book which is not something I would normally choose to read and as I love Huma's writing, I can't wait to read more of her books. A recommended read. ARC provided by Netgalley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty Mcdougall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. The writing is thoughtful and the author does a fantastic job at connecting with the reader. I found myself thinking of where I was and how I was feeling at the same stages in my life. In that sense it really did feel like a reflective conversation. I felt like I was getting to know a new friend. There is something so beautiful to me about women’s memoirs that are just honest thought processes or reflective writing on figuring themselves and the world around them I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. The writing is thoughtful and the author does a fantastic job at connecting with the reader. I found myself thinking of where I was and how I was feeling at the same stages in my life. In that sense it really did feel like a reflective conversation. I felt like I was getting to know a new friend. There is something so beautiful to me about women’s memoirs that are just honest thought processes or reflective writing on figuring themselves and the world around them out. This is definitely one of my favourites so far. I really enjoyed the format of the writing which shifts between time periods in the authors life. It added to the reflective element and all came together beautifully. In the last section of the book the author says she is not sorry for her story being undramatic. This was a crucial part of the memoir for me. Everyone’s stories are important but being in the U.K. I find the only life and love narratives offered mainstream about Muslim women are entrenched in stereotypical religious oppression. This memoir is just the truth, that every family, every individual’s faith and life and love story is unique and doesn’t fit a single or even multiple narratives.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Saadia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. TW: loss of parent "I guess I could say, I met myself first, before I met him." How We Met is a memoir by a Muslim British Pakistani female writer, Huma Qureshi. I rarely come by stories about, let alone memoirs by Pakistani females. As such, I was very eager to read this book. After reading rave reviews, I knew this one would be special. However, it affected me even more deeply and personally than I expected. I can’t thank the author enough for sharing her story because in doing so, she made me TW: loss of parent "I guess I could say, I met myself first, before I met him." How We Met is a memoir by a Muslim British Pakistani female writer, Huma Qureshi. I rarely come by stories about, let alone memoirs by Pakistani females. As such, I was very eager to read this book. After reading rave reviews, I knew this one would be special. However, it affected me even more deeply and personally than I expected. I can’t thank the author enough for sharing her story because in doing so, she made me realize that some of the feelings I’ve experienced or continue to experience are not invalid. "I wondered what it was like to be loved and cared for by someone who had found you, someone who was meant for you. To walk in the world every day with such certainty." "I hated that so many people from my world measured a woman's worth by her appearance, the lightness of her skin, the slimness of her waist, her marriageability, and I hated that this was how it had to be because I knew we were so much more, that I was so much more than that, but I was also tired of feeling lonely." This book is written in an unusual format - it is not divided into chapters, rather just sections including “Those Days” and “These Days” as the author shifts from the past to the present to convey her story. Her writing style is simple, which I loved because it drew me in immediately. It took me three days to finish only because I read it at night during the week. Had I read this on the weekend, I probably would have devoured it one sitting given that it is only a little over 200 pages long. For me, Huma’s memoir is mainly about three aspects of her life: - Dealing with the loss of her father. - Finding herself by overcoming her insecurities of not feeling good enough perpetuated by societal and familial pressures to get married and constantly being judged. - Meeting her husband, Richard and navigating the challenges that came with dating a man, who was not Pakistani, Muslim or brown. Huma belongs to a conservative Muslim family and was not allowed to date or hang out with boys. However, when she was about to graduate from college, her parents started bringing up the topic of marriage. Speaking from a similar experience, I always wonder why is it that conservative Desi parents don’t allow their girls to date but then expect them to magically find someone to marry as adults? She was not ready to deal with arranged marriage so she decided to spend some time in Paris to study journalism. However, just as she was starting to gain confidence and enjoy her freedom and independence in Paris, despite false rumors that she was there with a man, her father unfortunately had a stroke and she had to return to England to help take care of him while he was hospitalized for almost two years. During this time, her mom started putting pressure on her to meet eligible bachelors so she could get married and she complied. She started her journalism career in London at The Observer, while dealing with the loss of her father and attempting to find a suitable life partner, who would meet her family’s expectations. However, the arranged marriage route didn’t seem to quite work out for her perhaps it was just not meant to be. Instead, it just made her feel more and more insecure because she felt she was not good enough after constantly being rejected. "I had no experience of the sort of confidence that celebrated being single, that insisted that there was no shame or embarrassment in it, that there was no hurry." "My individual achievements would never matter as much as being married." "...marriage trumped everything." This reinforced my feelings of anger and sadness towards the notion in the Desi culture that a woman’s success and happiness is tied to marriage. Why is this notion so ingrained in the Desi culture that no matter what else the woman achieves in life, unless she is married or looks a certain way, she is not good enough? Ultimately, Huma decided to take a break from searching for a husband and focus on herself and her career. She quit her job and became a freelance writer, which felt much more liberating and rewarding. She started living on her own and doing things she enjoyed. When she managed to overcome her insecurities and felt she was ready to date again is when she met Richard. "I had to learn to accept other people's rejections and criticisms and also understand that their rejections didn't mean there was something wrong with me. I had to stop letting other people set my worth. I had to learn to not worry so much all the time, to be kinder to myself..." Despite being doubtful, given that it would be difficult for her to convince her family to accept someone who didn’t share the same culture, religion or background, she decided to take the leap because no one else had ever made her feel the way he did. And she was lucky enough to find someone like Richard who was willing to stand by her side and be willing to continue to pursue a relationship with her despite the challenges they may face. I have often wondered if I ever met a man outside of my culture, would he be willing to stand by me despite the challenges we would face? Relationships are hard enough and to deal with that kind of emotional and family baggage on top of that is not easy. Huma’s story gave me comfort that there are men out there like Richard who are willing to do so. And when things are meant to be, they will eventually work out despite the obstacles you may face. In conclusion, this memoir was undoubtedly a 5-star read for me and I would highly recommend it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    What would you tell to your children about how you met your spouse? Was the love strong enough to fight against all odds? Did it start as a friendship, or you were introduced by your relatives, or met through a matrimonial agency, or maybe you met online? This is the main topic of Huma Qureshi inspired memoir How We Met. It is her story of falling in love with her husband, Richard. Her love story is not dramatic, does not end with her, a Muslim, running out of her home and marrying her non-Muslim What would you tell to your children about how you met your spouse? Was the love strong enough to fight against all odds? Did it start as a friendship, or you were introduced by your relatives, or met through a matrimonial agency, or maybe you met online? This is the main topic of Huma Qureshi inspired memoir How We Met. It is her story of falling in love with her husband, Richard. Her love story is not dramatic, does not end with her, a Muslim, running out of her home and marrying her non-Muslim husband. Her brothers did not follow her to London for revenge. And she did not denied her religion. None of the dear topics of the books dealing with the meeting between two cultures and religions that should be exclusivistic and ending up with the complete denial of his/her own roots in order to start a new, religion-free life. Instead, Huma´s story is how she grow out of the pressures of her environment, achieving a career as a journalist - and not as a lawyer or a doctor - finding the man of her life after painful dating episodes and after living under the pressure of delivering the best of herself, but only what other people were expecting from her. Her meeting with Richard brought her out of her cultural and religious comfort zone, but in fact, for the first time she was talking with someone with whom she could share her ideas and life and stories. Their different backgrounds were part of their identities, but their meeting did not diminish or altered what they were. Instead, it solved the conflict between displaying what she was versus of who she really was, a tension Huma experienced during her dating adventures. At the very end of her 20s, she was feeling like a leftover, under the pressure of a religious community intolerant towards single people, especially single women. Her decision of moving to London, shortly after the death of her father, was a challenge that did her good. On her own, she focused rather on her professional aims instead of making marriage her sole reason to exist. She learned to be kind to herself which is not as easy at it sounds because it requires a lot of perseverance and acknowledgement of one´s aims. Now, happily married with three energetic children, she is looking back to recreate a journey not as a rebelious person but of a person learning how to negotiate her boundaries within her own community. A happy meaningful marriage means more than sharing the same childhood stories. Her life she settled for involved a lot of negotiation and compromise, but also a lot of kindness and love. This is how she succeeded to make space for a life of her own, which keeps authentic every day. The memoir is relatively short and it goes back and forth alongside the past and present timelines. I related at large with the writing, simple and direct, with a story that I´ve actually finished in one sitting. Rating: 4.5 stars Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rez

    Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop! This is a real tear jerker and will make you contemplate what it means to truly love someone, to find yourself and to accept and believe in the person you are and can be. There was so much depth and honesty in Huma’s narrative. I felt as if I had known her for years. I could easily have been sitting with a cup of tea in the company of one of my closest friends describing how she met her other half....who just happens to be Richard, an English man tha Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop! This is a real tear jerker and will make you contemplate what it means to truly love someone, to find yourself and to accept and believe in the person you are and can be. There was so much depth and honesty in Huma’s narrative. I felt as if I had known her for years. I could easily have been sitting with a cup of tea in the company of one of my closest friends describing how she met her other half....who just happens to be Richard, an English man that reverts to Islam. Huma flicks between “these days” and “those days” and carries us all the way through to the last lockdown. If you think this will be a story of an Asian girl that meets a white guy which triggers a huge family drama before they eventually run away and get married, think again! This was different and not your typical Asian love story. What people will think and how the families will communicate has always been a big factor in whether mixed marriages will be accepted. There is so much more to it than that though and you will only truly discover how once you read it for yourself. This story is so different to mine as I had an arranged marriage but at the same time there are many aspects of her life that resonate with me and am sure with so many other Asian women. It’s not easy being an Asian female and moving away from home to study and Huma narrates her experience so eloquently. The support of her parents with her educational choices and with moving to Paris really comes through and as a parent myself, I can see how important this was in her later decisions. This is not a new story and Huma knows that. She isn’t the first Asian woman to have lived away from home and married outside her culture but she has told her story in such a way that it is not stereotypical or complicated. It’s actually quite inspirational in a quiet, sensitive and comforting way. I have the utmost respect for Richard and for their families in giving their blessing to tell this story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This is the story of how Huma (a Muslim woman from Walsall) met her husband (an English man), and how the people around her, her family and friends, reacted to it. But before that, she needs to set the scene. And she does so by describnig her upbringing, her uplifting family and close-knit community, giving the reader a view of the Muslim community she grew up with and, I think very importantly in these days, showing that Muslims are people, each one with their own views and perspectives. We hear This is the story of how Huma (a Muslim woman from Walsall) met her husband (an English man), and how the people around her, her family and friends, reacted to it. But before that, she needs to set the scene. And she does so by describnig her upbringing, her uplifting family and close-knit community, giving the reader a view of the Muslim community she grew up with and, I think very importantly in these days, showing that Muslims are people, each one with their own views and perspectives. We hear about Huma's upbringing and her struggles with self-perception, at first feeling like she needs a man to feel whole, and later on realising that this is not a healthy perspective. I wish lots of young women read this and really internalised this message: not every woman needs to marry and have kids. I loved that her story was "normal" and her depiction of faith and religion, and how she described her "rediscovery" of religion with her now husband. This is a solid book to dive into a (at least in my case) completely different life and perspective, and I really liked it for that. It is a simple book (there's no running away from home, there are none of the things that I think due to prejudice and representation we outsiders would possibly expect) that you can read in an afternoon. It made me think about how I met my partner and how my family took some readjustment to him, and it made me feel grateful once more that I didn't have to make an impossible choice between them. I wasn't sure about the rating of this book. I decided to round it up to 4 stars because I was really touched by her relationship with her dad, and her description of grief. It made me cry thinking about my own relationship with my dad and how in these Covid times I would not be able to be by his side if the worst were to happen. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shazia Khan

    Do you ever play that game where you look at a person and wonder what their life looks like? What are their struggles and triumphs? Yes, I do this sometimes. That is why I find memoirs so interesting, especially those from fellow Muslim women. Growing up, it was rare to see stories of women from my cultural/religious background and if ever I did come across a story, it was always the same narrative of an oppressed woman living through the trauma of being Muslim. I always yearned for a story that Do you ever play that game where you look at a person and wonder what their life looks like? What are their struggles and triumphs? Yes, I do this sometimes. That is why I find memoirs so interesting, especially those from fellow Muslim women. Growing up, it was rare to see stories of women from my cultural/religious background and if ever I did come across a story, it was always the same narrative of an oppressed woman living through the trauma of being Muslim. I always yearned for a story that showed the other side of my religion and culture, one where yes there are struggles but there is also healing, comfort, joys and triumphs. I wanted to read a story that did not focus on the stereotypes. I want to thank the author for giving us that story of triumph and healing. When Huma reaches that age where family start speaking to her about marriage, she decides chart her own path and complete her studies in Paris. This exciting chapter in her life takes a turn when her father has a stroke and she leaves Paris to be with her family. I'm in awe with the way Huma shared this heartbreaking period of her life. She gives readers a look into how everyone processes grief and carries it differently. She shows us how grief can manifest in many other ways. We follow Huma as she grieves and agrees to thinking about marriage and meeting potential suitors. But what happens when she meets someone who is not Pakistani and not Muslim? There is a raw honesty and vulnerability in the way Huma tells her story. It is both relatable and inspiring. Life is made up of little moments and I really enjoyed reading those moments that pushed her forward, whether it was decorating her first flat or conversations with her children. I'm sure her story of loss will resonate with many people. The way she weaves together her story comparing those days vs these days made it a wholesome reading experience. By sharing her story, Huma showed us that there is a place for our stories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Farrah WJ

    Synopsis: Huma has spent her entire childhood, growing up in Walsall, a suburb of Birmingham, taking in subliminal messaging that a good Pakistani Muslim girl will first get well-educated and then, shortly after, will get matched for matrimony. This is not how things will go for Huma. She has bigger dreams of finding love, pursuing a creative career and spreading her wings. Somewhere along the way her sense of self gets muddled and a journey of lost and found begins. Fast forward to Year almost Synopsis: Huma has spent her entire childhood, growing up in Walsall, a suburb of Birmingham, taking in subliminal messaging that a good Pakistani Muslim girl will first get well-educated and then, shortly after, will get matched for matrimony. This is not how things will go for Huma. She has bigger dreams of finding love, pursuing a creative career and spreading her wings. Somewhere along the way her sense of self gets muddled and a journey of lost and found begins. Fast forward to Year almost 30, and she meets someone! The trouble is he just doesn’t fulfil her community’s expected profile. I found How We Met by Huma Qureshi relatable in many aspects of the expat Pakistani parenting culture. The conversations about trust, the boundaries of “our culture” and those surrounding the expectations of marriage are all too familiar. However, this book is not just about being raised in a Pakistani family and finding her non- Pakistani life partner. It is so much more than that. This book is about becoming comfortable in one own’s skin. It’s about the process of transformation, and although there is progress, it is honestly presented as a never-ending pursuit. The Good: The book starts with a good attention grabber and even though the events in the book are a series of flashbacks and flash forwards, the different anecdotes flow extremely well together. I really like that the author talks about different challenges without being disrespectful to any of the parties involved. The Bad: Nothing particularly. The Verdict: If you are looking for something life-changing, this book is not it. This book is made for people who are looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is made for the people who want to look at every relationship as if it is fresh and every life event as fascinating.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amna Waqar

    Coming from the same cultural background and a very similar upbringing, Huma Qureshi's memoir resonated deeply with me. I saw so much of my childhood, formative years, adult life and motherhood in her writing; trying to conform to cultural society norms, the constant, "But what will people say?" question that looms in the air when breaking barriers, the self-sacrifice of a daughter; in the writer's case her giving up her higher education in Paris, and the heart-wrenching experience of having a s Coming from the same cultural background and a very similar upbringing, Huma Qureshi's memoir resonated deeply with me. I saw so much of my childhood, formative years, adult life and motherhood in her writing; trying to conform to cultural society norms, the constant, "But what will people say?" question that looms in the air when breaking barriers, the self-sacrifice of a daughter; in the writer's case her giving up her higher education in Paris, and the heart-wrenching experience of having a sick parent and later on the grief and emptiness of losing one of the most important people in your world. The author's brutal honesty brought out her vulnerability. I am so glad that she found herself and I could have honestly stood up and cheered for her- for the woman that she became; shedding self- esteem issues and taking a stand for herself. Qureshi meeting her future husband and bringing it out into the open had my stomach in knots. Her family's questions - "What if he wants to drink wine? What if he wants to eat bacon? What if he makes you wear a bikini?" actually had me giggling out loud; despite the seriousness of the situation. Whether it was the huge weekend get togethers, the 'lota' jokes around the dining table, trying to hide photos of life at university, bumping into a male classmate whilst out with a parent, the matchmaker aunties, the awkward meetings with potential husbands, this memoir reflects a true insight into what it is life of any Asian girl growing up in today's society. My thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Fitzgerald

    This is just such a lovely, refreshingly honest memoir and I really loved it. Qureshi writes in such a casual and comforting way that it feels more like having a conversation with a friend than a stranger baring their soul - I ended up reading this in one sitting and found it really heartwarming despite some very sad moments. Whilst this memoir is of course about how Qureshi met her husband Richard, and the effect which that had on her relationship with her Muslim family, for me, the most beauti This is just such a lovely, refreshingly honest memoir and I really loved it. Qureshi writes in such a casual and comforting way that it feels more like having a conversation with a friend than a stranger baring their soul - I ended up reading this in one sitting and found it really heartwarming despite some very sad moments. Whilst this memoir is of course about how Qureshi met her husband Richard, and the effect which that had on her relationship with her Muslim family, for me, the most beautiful moments were those spent with her father before he passed, and then also the time she spends reflecting on being a mother to her three sons. The passages in which she speaks about wanting space from the boys to do her work or get some peace, but at the same time wants them there at all times is just one of the most relatable takes on motherhood I’ve heard - I was nodding and laughing along so much! Whilst there are things which I can’t relate to on a personal level, I really appreciated Qureshi opening up and sharing her experience - she says herself that it’s not necessarily a unique story, but why shouldn’t those mundane stories of falling in love and raising a family be told? Those are quite often the most beautiful stories of all, because they are real and tangible. A warm hug of a book - highly recommend!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Halema Khan

    How We Met by Huma Qureshi Book Review 📖 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Memoirs aren’t my usual book of choice but I’ve been seeing Huma’s book everywhere! Thank you to @elliotandthompson and @thenetgalley for sending me this book to review. I finished Qureshi’s book in one reading and I think I want her to be my best friend! Her style is so relatable as a British Muslim woman and resonates with an article I recently wrote for @hikayaat magazine on marriage. Her writing is so refreshingly ordinary and it is so nice t How We Met by Huma Qureshi Book Review 📖 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Memoirs aren’t my usual book of choice but I’ve been seeing Huma’s book everywhere! Thank you to @elliotandthompson and @thenetgalley for sending me this book to review. I finished Qureshi’s book in one reading and I think I want her to be my best friend! Her style is so relatable as a British Muslim woman and resonates with an article I recently wrote for @hikayaat magazine on marriage. Her writing is so refreshingly ordinary and it is so nice to see a happy ending to a story that usually causes such a riot within the South Asian community. I love how her book goes back and forth between her search for marriage and her current lifestyle. I felt as though she was speaking as me, especially in her desire to keep writing and going freelance. She gives a voice to those insecure moments that many women feel when they don’t fit into the traditional trappings of a South Asian society. Definitely encouraged me to read more of her work and to give memoirs a chance :) I would recommend this book for some light-hearted relief and if you want an excuse to cheer a fellow British Muslim woman on for metaphorically sticking her middle finger up to societal expectations and living life to her own standards. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #HowWeMetMemoir #NetGalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dear Anne...

    I received an early advanced copy of this book (through @netgalley) and guys...! I read it in a day; it was THAT captivating. I am a little biased, as non-fiction books are always my little piece of heaven. Memoirs feel like a sweet introduction of a new friend. And this book was nothing short of that. Huma writes so delicately and in spite of the title alluding to a love story, this book was so much more than that. It highlights Huma’s journey as a young woman in a Pakistani Muslim household wa I received an early advanced copy of this book (through @netgalley) and guys...! I read it in a day; it was THAT captivating. I am a little biased, as non-fiction books are always my little piece of heaven. Memoirs feel like a sweet introduction of a new friend. And this book was nothing short of that. Huma writes so delicately and in spite of the title alluding to a love story, this book was so much more than that. It highlights Huma’s journey as a young woman in a Pakistani Muslim household wanting to find the world for herself, making a career she loves, marrying outside of her culture and venturing out into the world and the duty she feels towards her family and the concept of arranged marriage. Key themes include; loss, womanhood, family, culture and love (ofc). ✨ This gem will be published on the 28th of January. And I urge you all to pre-order/grab a copy!!! @humaqureshiwriter, I’m so happy you continued writing. This story needed to be shared, for the millions of girls who see themselves in your story. For the millions of girls who dream of European cities over a matrimonial celebration. For the women who wish on both. Thank you! ✨

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nisreen Mohamedali

    "But that doesn't mean that stories like mine, everyday stories of falling in love and growing up, arguing with your parents and then making up, sadness and joy and life in all its shades and nuances, the moments that give meaning to life, don't deserve to be told." Huma Qureshi ❤️ How We Met is a memoir about how the author, a British Pakistani Muslim, met and fell in love with her English husband, Richard 👩‍❤️‍👨. I'm not a fan of romance books really, but this book is so much more than the story "But that doesn't mean that stories like mine, everyday stories of falling in love and growing up, arguing with your parents and then making up, sadness and joy and life in all its shades and nuances, the moments that give meaning to life, don't deserve to be told." Huma Qureshi ❤️ How We Met is a memoir about how the author, a British Pakistani Muslim, met and fell in love with her English husband, Richard 👩‍❤️‍👨. I'm not a fan of romance books really, but this book is so much more than the story of how two people fall in love. Qureshi talks about her family, her experiences of growing up in Walsall 🇬🇧, and the expectations imposed on her by the South Asian community to find a suitable boy to marry and settle down with. ❤️ Qureshi writes about the constant pressure to marry and the stress of meeting men and then being considered 'past it' when you reach a certain age. She writes beautifully about how she eventually learns to value herself and her own worth- with or without a wedding ring. It was interesting to read about how she navigated the difficulties of pursuing a relationship with someone who was not considered an appropriate match, his conversion to Islam and how they now bring up their children. There is no scandal, no running away from home or an illicit love affair, but two people finding love and then building a family together. She says herself that it’s not necessarily a unique or exciting story- but shouldn’t these normal stories of finding love also be shared? This felt like a hug in a book- definitely recommend! ❤️

  27. 4 out of 5

    Raeesa

    "I guess you could say I met myself before I met him" This was an unusual one for me to love. I didn't expect to but I did. It'll make you cry one second and laugh literally two sentences later. I wanted to give huma a huge hug so so many times. The book is the authors memoir with alternating chapters of her last and present. Highlighting all the battles she faced growing up in a South Asian community. She battles her inner and outer demons with such grace and comes out stronger. "If your intent "I guess you could say I met myself before I met him" This was an unusual one for me to love. I didn't expect to but I did. It'll make you cry one second and laugh literally two sentences later. I wanted to give huma a huge hug so so many times. The book is the authors memoir with alternating chapters of her last and present. Highlighting all the battles she faced growing up in a South Asian community. She battles her inner and outer demons with such grace and comes out stronger. "If your intentions are good that's all that matters" Huma shows her personal strengths and weaknesses in this book which give her such credit for because I wouldn't be able to do the same. She battles grief, the Asian aunties, the finding love, finding religion, in such a beautiful way. She details the struggles of wanting more in the community so well. The torn feelings of wanting to move away and be different but also still being held to the traditions and expectations of growing up in as a British Pakistani. I am so glad she got to live her dreams and even with setbacks find herself and love herself before settling down ( even if she wanted to/ told to want to way way sooner then necessary)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Neema Shah

    This beautiful book explores both the beauty and despair of living between two different cultures. As I know too well, this is a particularly thorny subject when it comes to who we fall in love with. Huma Qureshi writes with warmth and wit about her own life growing up as a Pakistani Muslim in the Midlands. Adulthood is not without its complications already but life becomes even more so when she meets a man, Richard who is not exactly the 'suitable' Pakistani Muslim boy that her family had envisa This beautiful book explores both the beauty and despair of living between two different cultures. As I know too well, this is a particularly thorny subject when it comes to who we fall in love with. Huma Qureshi writes with warmth and wit about her own life growing up as a Pakistani Muslim in the Midlands. Adulthood is not without its complications already but life becomes even more so when she meets a man, Richard who is not exactly the 'suitable' Pakistani Muslim boy that her family had envisaged.  Yet although this book is about romantic love against the odds, it's also a memoir of love in all its guises, particularly the love of friendship and family. Huma writes honestly and movingly about grief and the support of friends when we need them most. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and on a personal note, loved the reminders of my own teenage years - I was very pleased to discover that Huma and I shared a love for Zac from the OC and Pacey from Dawson's Creek! Highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Haleh Agar

    I devoured this brilliant memoir! 'How We Met' is the warm, heart-felt story of journalist/ writer, Huma Qureshi-- caught between family responsibilities and her own desires for adventure. It is a beautiful coming of age story, with a focus on love and figuring out how matrimony fits into her life. What I particularly loved about this memoir is the honesty of Huma when she writes about reconciling expectations and pressures from her Asian social circle with her desire to make her own way. She wr I devoured this brilliant memoir! 'How We Met' is the warm, heart-felt story of journalist/ writer, Huma Qureshi-- caught between family responsibilities and her own desires for adventure. It is a beautiful coming of age story, with a focus on love and figuring out how matrimony fits into her life. What I particularly loved about this memoir is the honesty of Huma when she writes about reconciling expectations and pressures from her Asian social circle with her desire to make her own way. She writes with such poignancy about this feeling of being caught in the middle and at times confused about where she feels at home. The relationship she shares with her husband is gorgeous and I found myself getting quite emotional, reading about their journey together. Her voice is effortless, beautiful, incredibly refreshing and so relatable-- a really talented author. I highly recommend this gorgeous memoir!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pgchuis

    I received a copy of this memoir from the publisher via NetGalley. This was a sweet and thought-provoking read. It tells the story of Huma's twenties as she studies in Paris and then works as a journalist, loses her beloved father, and sometimes resists and sometimes complies with her family's desire that she meet suitable prospective husbands. The structure of the memoir makes it clear from the beginning that she marries Richard, not an Asian, and not initially a Muslim. I was thankful for this I received a copy of this memoir from the publisher via NetGalley. This was a sweet and thought-provoking read. It tells the story of Huma's twenties as she studies in Paris and then works as a journalist, loses her beloved father, and sometimes resists and sometimes complies with her family's desire that she meet suitable prospective husbands. The structure of the memoir makes it clear from the beginning that she marries Richard, not an Asian, and not initially a Muslim. I was thankful for this reassurance as at times (too many times for my liking) it seemed as if Huma was going to settle for one of a series of unsatisfactory matches proposed to her. The poignancy of this memoir centres around the fact that Huma's family truly love her and truly want the best for her, and Huma knows this, but that still doesn't mean they welcome Richard with open arms. Recommended.

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