Sara Jafari comes to the blog with a story of growing up ‘different’, and how one young woman struggled with the complexities in
Part of the reason that I read such a wide variety of authors and stories is for entertainment, and then additionally to learn from different perspectives, perhaps even learning more about the people in the world around me and see how they overcome (or approach) challenges. Not having seen many fiction titles from the perspective that Jafari brings was a bonus. As was this story that handled the challenges, the guilt, the history and expectations from family with a flair that left me understanding (a bit better) all the struggles and challenges.
Soraya is just out of university having taken a few steps to ‘live like the other students’ that she knew, despite her rather strict Iranian upbringing, her parents’ omnipresent voices ringing in her ears. She’s never been kissed and decides that the rugby-playing ladies’ man Magnus seems to be the perfect option. Not interested in a relationship – and knowing that choosing a boy that is both British and non-Muslim will set off a series of conflicts that may leave her out of the family much like her elder sister, she’s determined to ‘experience’ this moment without all the life-changing relationship issues that could come. And, having only her mother’s experiences and as an example – marriage isn’t something she’s anxious to wade into.
Alternately, we have Soraya’s mother’s perspective as she shares bits about her life in Iran, her marriage, the limited choices and struggles with the familial expectations, the guilt and the obligations of a daughter – all providing us with an insight that both conflicts with and explains the relationship between Soraya and her mother Neda. Of course, there is conflict and a feeling of injustice from Soraya as her brother is granted many freedoms that are denied her – and she chafes at the unfairness of it all. Perhaps she is, despite it all, more like her mother? But with information and chats with her sister, who is finding her own moments of dissatisfaction with a life free from the family expectations and a better understanding of who Magnus really is beneath the exterior and reputation – Soraya is facing all the issues, including finding her own way through the puzzle called life, in ways that are unexpected and (for a non-Iranian, non-Muslim reader) well laid out and explained, and allows for empathy with the struggle.
Sara Jafari has done an amazing job bringing us into the family dynamic and Soraya’s struggles with her own guilt, desires and choices. Those with more familiarity to the dynamics at play here will spot moments that I didn’t – but the underlying theme and take-away here is that every generation has moments that they have to step out and away from the expectations of tradition, family and community before they are truly able to make their own choices for their lives. Soraya manages the tightropes of expectations, dreams, wishes, and obligation, with flair and examples that allow everyone to learn from (and enjoy) the moment.
Title: The Mismatch: A Novel
Author: Sara Jafari
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Assimilation, British, Coming of Age, Contemporary Elements, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Interracial, Multi-Cultural, New Adult - Coming of Age, Political commentary, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Sociological Relevancy
Published by: Dell Press
Published on: 3 August, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 53 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
A kiss is never just a kiss in The Mismatch, a cross-generational story about love, family, faith, and finding yourself.
Now that Soraya Nazari has graduated from university, she thinks it’s time to get some of the life experience she feels she’s lacking, partly due to her strict upbringing—and Magnus Evans seems like the perfect way to get it.
Where she’s the somewhat timid, artistic daughter of Iranian immigrants, Magnus is the quintessential British lad. They have little in common, so there’s no way Soraya could ever fall for him. What’s the harm in having some fun as she navigates her postgrad life? And he could give her some distance from her increasingly complicated home life, where things are strained by her father’s struggles, her mother’s unhappiness and her eldest sister’s estrangement under a vague cloud of shame fifteen years earlier.
Distracting herself with Magnus is easy at first. But just as Soraya realizes there’s more to Magnus than she thought, long-buried secrets, and hard questions, begin to surface—will any of her relationships survive the truth coming out?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.