First Comes Marriage: a Short Story

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I had mixed feelings on the book itself.

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Although I expected the challenges in her marriage to be directly caused by the cultural and religious basis of the marriage, the issues seemed to more directly related to the immaturity and overly romanticized expectations of the author when she entered the marriage. While she attributes the expectations to a Western pattern for courtship and marriage, her ideas seem to s I heard the author speak before reading her book and found her to be very engaging. While she attributes the expectations to a Western pattern for courtship and marriage, her ideas seem to stem more from an unrealistic Hollywood portrayal of relationships.

Dec 23, Ruby rated it really liked it. We say things we don't mean so that people will correct us, we refuse things we are offered to be polite, and we never ask for what we want without apologizing for it profusely. All my life, I had toggled between my school life and home life, feeling too Muslim and Arab in one and too American in the other. But here the dominant culture's rules were not the same ones I'd defined myself against for so long. Here a grandmother had told me to pray, and her devotion had felt like home.

Mar 07, Arsala rated it liked it. My complaints about this book are similar to the ones I had for Amreekiya by Lena Mahmoud. Just like in that book, the main protagonist, Huda, was really hard to like. I understand that she got 3. I understand that she got married young but she comes across as a spoiled brat with very unrealistic expectations about love and relationships throughout the entire story. I mean, in the last 30 pages Huda is seriously considering divorce and really grieving the lost stages of her young adulthood and then all of a sudden everything is okay and then How does she change her mind?

What redeems Hadi in her eyes? What makes her decide to stick it out? The book ends! So as you can see, lots of room for improvement. I enjoyed the beginning a lot, and loved getting an inside look into a family and culture that are so different from my own.


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It became harder for me to relate to the narrator over the course of the book, though. I don't understand the search for the perfect date, the perfect moment, the perfect wedding. It was easier for me to sympathize with Hadi, because I am quiet in similar ways myself. I was so relieved when she began to see her family more as individuals and became more thoughtful about he I enjoyed the beginning a lot, and loved getting an inside look into a family and culture that are so different from my own.

I was so relieved when she began to see her family more as individuals and became more thoughtful about her relationships with her family. I liked that her religion was so important to her. I enjoyed her breezy, direct, honest narrative style, but sometimes the honesty made it hard to read.

This narrator went through a lot of inner turmoil, which was a painful ride to go along on. I found it very engaging and hard to put down. Look, I finished it in two days! Dec 29, Denise rated it really liked it Shelves: read An interesting and informative insight into a different culture's approach to marriage and love. I must admit though, given its description by many reviewers as "witty, charming, delightful" and the like, I expected something a little more lighthearted and involving a little more falling in love when I'm promised a love story just one that starts rather than ends with the couple getting married and not quite so much palpable frustration, disappointment, resentment and misery on the part of the An interesting and informative insight into a different culture's approach to marriage and love.

I must admit though, given its description by many reviewers as "witty, charming, delightful" and the like, I expected something a little more lighthearted and involving a little more falling in love when I'm promised a love story just one that starts rather than ends with the couple getting married and not quite so much palpable frustration, disappointment, resentment and misery on the part of the narrator throughout most of the book. Nevertheless, it was certainly educational. Nov 13, Honoree Jeffers rated it it was amazing. A beautiful, empathetic rendering of a unique love story.

This is the story of Huda Al-Marashi's marriage. Who she married, how and why she got married, her expectations, her family's influence and culture and her decision to push through and try to fix things. I am impressed that she decided to open herself fully because she comes off as very unlikable and naive. And it's hard to blame her as the first part of the book she is actually a kid who is acting her age and is trying to juggle understand her Muslim and Arab identity while also being around so This is the story of Huda Al-Marashi's marriage.

And it's hard to blame her as the first part of the book she is actually a kid who is acting her age and is trying to juggle understand her Muslim and Arab identity while also being around so much of what is American and different. We get to see her as she ages to her early 20's but that naivety does not leave and you see her becoming angrier and trying to blame things on people around her. She's a young person trying to figure things out and at the same time juggling a marriage and living with someone and all that comes with it. Sometimes, the pressure of being in an Arab household can be too much to juggle when all of this is happening at the same time and you're just a confused 20 year old.

However, even though her family tries to subliminally inject her with ideas of how things should be, or how it was like for them and in their Iraqi culture.. This warrants a longer discussion. But that's something a lot of us can understand if you're coming from a similar background.

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The huge amount of weight that was on her shoulder caused her to become anxious and to have an anxiety attack and one point. This story tries to show that there is another side of arranged marriages that not a lot of people talk about and what that entails to some people. Key word here is "some". Whether it's something you like or approve of or not, there is a major difference between forced and arranged marriage and I find myself still getting asked this question and no matter what answer you give, not everyone is able to wrap their heads around it.

I kept feeling like we're missing a huge side of the conversation because we don't get to hear from the husband, and yeah it's her memoir and her memories but I'm so curious to know what it was like. She was quite harsh with him. That's pretty much the jist of it and trying to go through everything will leave me with a tremendously long review because I do have a lot to say.

Mar 09, Katie rated it liked it. A memoir about an Iraqi woman's arranged marriage, her Muslim faith, and how hard it was to rationalize her family's ideals about marriage with her being raised in America. She had an arranged marriage, although later learned that her family had less strict opinions about it than they made her believe.

It was a fascinating look into the mindset of someone who abides by a concept--arranged marriage--that I find impossible and anathema to imagine. I'm not gonna lie: I'm a westerner to whom this ide A memoir about an Iraqi woman's arranged marriage, her Muslim faith, and how hard it was to rationalize her family's ideals about marriage with her being raised in America. I'm not gonna lie: I'm a westerner to whom this idea is, I don't want to say "appalling" or wrong, but it's impossible to imagine it working for me.

And I don't really feel any differently now She did say something enlightening towards the end In other words, if she had been raised in a society in which arranged marriage was the norm, she might have been fine with him all along. But who knows? I still feel like all the dissatisfaction she showed us indicates they are not really meant to be together--I can't help it, if I had experienced all her thoughts and feelings about this guy, I would have broken up with him early on, in the dating-freedom world that my culture entails.

So I have no personal experience feeling this stuck with someone. It makes it hard to understand. Interesting to read and think about, though. Mar 22, Katie rated it really liked it. I adored this memoir, it was very genuine and educational about life in the Islamic-American culture. I completely related to and understood the author when she mentioned growing up with all of these romantic fantasies and waiting for them to happen and they never quite did.

I don't think she was complaining or negative at all as mentioned in other reviews, I think that the American culture simply has too many expectations about what love is. This was an adorable and enlightening fast read, I lo I adored this memoir, it was very genuine and educational about life in the Islamic-American culture. This was an adorable and enlightening fast read, I love the authors style and absolute honesty.

It was very brave of her to share her story and explain her points of view on arranged marriages. Mar 06, Emily rated it liked it. I really wanted to like this book, and suspect that this must be a real immigrant dilemma - attempting to "balance the [fill in the blank] traditional values she acquired from her [fill in the blank] immigrant parents with the romantic fantasies she acquired from the American media", to quote one of the comments on the back cover of the book. Maybe not even an immigrant dilemma, since the romantic fantasies from the media often don't have much to do with real American life either.

I learned a lo I really wanted to like this book, and suspect that this must be a real immigrant dilemma - attempting to "balance the [fill in the blank] traditional values she acquired from her [fill in the blank] immigrant parents with the romantic fantasies she acquired from the American media", to quote one of the comments on the back cover of the book. I learned a lot about the Muslim religion and traditions, and the real challenges immigrants face that those who have never tried to migrate are oblivious to.

By the time she arrived there, I was so tired of her whining and complaining about poor hapless Hadi whose only real shortcoming seemed to be his inability to read her mind. Her intolerance of him and her emotional immaturity, as candid about it as the author bravely was, became intolerable to me. If this hadn't been a selection of my Mother-Daughter book club I would not have finished it.

The title is totally appropriate. View 1 comment. It actually ended up being a great read to follow-up the YA novel Love, Hate, and Other Filters because both dealt with children of Muslim immigrants trying to balance their parents' expectations with their own dreams of life in America. But, Huda has grown up in America with all of our pop culture around dating and falling in love so in her heart she yearns for a relationship that combines the best of her cultural tradition and that American romantic ideal that we've also seen on TV.

This memoir is open and honest with plenty of moments of levity. Huda doesn't really sugar coat anything. She shares the emotional disappointments she went through when things don't go quite as she hoped. Mar 06, Linda De Bourbon rated it really liked it. Worth reading. Feb 28, Hillary Watson rated it liked it. A read unlike, and yet very like, any other.

It's both compelling and cringeworthy as you watch a young woman swallow whole a deeply American and deeply religious purity doctrine. The author paints herself as immature, selfish, and shallow, which is satisfying until it's exhausting. There's no real resolution, but only hints of maturity and healthier relationships to follow.

She never fully confronts how devastating purity culture is, in any culture, but she holds gently the complex factors that A read unlike, and yet very like, any other. She never fully confronts how devastating purity culture is, in any culture, but she holds gently the complex factors that shape identity. It did not live up to my perhaps too high hopes, but was a solid read and a story that needs to be told. Unfortunately alot of this book is about immature expectations of marriage and whinning about not having it your way.

An Arranged Marriage | The New Yorker

On the positive side I appreciate the facr he finally grows up at the end and sees all the blessings she really has and always had. I wish there had been more positivity but this is her memoir. Feb 27, Becca rated it liked it. I'm not sure why I'm reading so many non-fiction and so many books about other cultures this winter but this latest book about another religion was intersting. I was disappointed that Huda didn't get her happy ending but I grew tired of her constant complaining.

My goodness, she had a pretty easy life but was never content. I guess I feel a little sorry for her; that she couldn't see past her romantic fantasy.

While I did not grow up Muslim, I was raised in a very religious household so I can sympathize with some of Huda's struggles. Due to my pretty conservative upbringing, I've been trying my hardest to start reading more books with diverse perspectives and First Comes Marriage was a great start. This story was refreshing and it really helped give a better understanding of the struggles Muslim-Americans face. The book covers Al-Marashi's struggle with balancing her Muslim expectations of romance and While I did not grow up Muslim, I was raised in a very religious household so I can sympathize with some of Huda's struggles.

First Comes Marriage

The book covers Al-Marashi's struggle with balancing her Muslim expectations of romance and marriage with her American ones. Her perspective is very honest as she explains her disappointments in her husband, herself and their married life. It was a lot. I'm not one to really enjoy reading someone complain for long periods of time, especially if its about a patient spouse. However, reading about how events in life unfold and change someone's perspective is an interesting process and Al-Marashi writes it well. But dang She seriously laid into the guy and it made me slightly uncomfortable to read because I felt so bad.

I would have loved to hear more about their life after she finally started having her change in perspective but the book ended pretty quickly after that. I'm giving it 3 stars for being insightful and maybe a little too brutally honest. Feb 21, April O Gorman rated it really liked it. Very honest account of a Muslim in the US.

Feb 12, Rawan rated it it was amazing. I enjoyed this very much- probably because I related to the author's way of thinking so much. Idealized expectations of love and romance based on Western romcoms It was interesting to see how the author came to the realization that her unhappiness and dissatisfaction with her life and her marriage wasn't entirely I enjoyed this very much- probably because I related to the author's way of thinking so much.

It was interesting to see how the author came to the realization that her unhappiness and dissatisfaction with her life and her marriage wasn't entirely because of everyone around her- it was because of her unrealistic expectations of love and her total acceptance of the warnings of her family and family friends' as rules of law which, BOY, do I relate to I've always wanted to visit Guadalajara and the descriptions of it in the book made it seem so warm and lovely- I'm even more set on visiting now!

My only sort of quip with the book is that I would have liked the ending to have been fleshed out a little bit more- it would have been great to see how the author continued to grow as she matured into her mid 20s.

First comes marriage

I felt that it wrapped up a little abruptly. Feb 04, Laura rated it it was amazing. This is one of the best books about love and marriage that I've ever read. Al-Marashi is so honest in revealing her true priorities and feelings that it's almost painful to read at times. As she dives into a marriage arrange by her Iraqi parents during her first year of college, she is more often than not swept off of her feet - not by her husband-to-be who is a tad lacking in the social skills department - by her own ideas of romance and the lore around love that she has absorbed from her mothe This is one of the best books about love and marriage that I've ever read.

As she dives into a marriage arrange by her Iraqi parents during her first year of college, she is more often than not swept off of her feet - not by her husband-to-be who is a tad lacking in the social skills department - by her own ideas of romance and the lore around love that she has absorbed from her mother, her friends, American culture and Iraqi culture, and, of course, the movies.

I expected this book to be a defense of arranged marriage in Muslim cultures, but the fact that this marriage takes place within a Muslim community of families is almost irrelevant. The cultural and religious context is, of course, central to the story of Al-Marashi's marriage, but the difficulties that she encounters in her new marriage are also fairly universal to any two people trying to build a new relationship against the background of all of their often unrealistic expectations.

This would be a terrific book to read with a book club, and I think it would also be interesting to read it with high school students - maybe even to pair it with Villette. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Huda Al-Marashi. Huda Al-Marashi. Huda currently resides in California with her husband and three children. Visit her at www. Trivia About First Comes Marri Penelope in The Odyssey waiting for Odysseus. I kept thinking about that.

I was always so mad that Odysseus just assumed that she would wait for him, and the complications of that assumption versus their love and their marriage and what was going on with that. Celestial is in a similar situation where, for all she knows, her husband is going to be in there for the majority of his life. Is she going to wait for him, or is she not?

In the case of religion, they are your spiritual mentors, essentially. She discusses how some of the comments and advice she got from family members she took more literally than what family members were intending. Mentioned in this Episode. Created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature.

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