Book Review: Saris and the City

Book: Saris and the City (Little Black Dress)

Genre: Chick Lit/ Contemporary Fiction/ Romance

Author: Rekha Waheed

Cover critique:

The background that looks like intricate embroidered border of a cotton Sari is well-suited to the title of the book. The lovely soft teal and pink colors are feminine and soothing at the same time. The sketch of Asian lady wearing signature jewellery and dress gives a subtle hint of its oriental leaning. It certainly is attractive but not overpowering and I love it!


The book gives an insight into Muslim and South Asian culture as well as a peak into how British culture mingles in the lives of Asian/Desi people born or bred in UK. Among so many books of the same genre by British writers, this book is by a Desi British woman (Rekha Waheed is of Bengali descent, born and raised in London) and that is what makes this book appealing in terms of its character portrayal and scenario descriptions. In spite of being a romantic novel, the book paints different social and cultural issues that are faced by Asian woman living in the West, struggling for their identity.

The story revolves around the character of Yasmin Yusuf, who in spite of being smart, career-oriented woman, is a typical day-dreamer. She believes in “love at first sight” and “happily-ever-after tales”. But her wishful thinking is crushed when she finds out that her oh-so-loving boyfriend was actually too nasty to be trusted. To make things worse, she is fired from her existing job. This time in her life, Yasmin is determined to prove her worth again by focusing on her new job as a city analyst for a failing lingerie company. It is a chance for her to gain her self-esteem back, but as they say, nothing comes easy! I would not reveal anymore, so buy the book yourself to find out if she gets what she want and does her dream of Prince charming falling for her ever come true.

The opening chapters of the book are completely engrossing and fast-paced, good enough to keep me turning pages to find out what happens next. The book is full of witty descriptions and some really laugh-out-loud situations which is one of the strongest points of reading this romantic comedy. I could not control my laugh when Yasmin tries to resist her temptation for utterly gorgeous and handsome guy, Zachary Khan and the comedy of errors follows. Also, the time when she tries on some kinky lingerie items to write her report and is caught wearing it by her family in an embarrassing position. There are some touching moments as well, portrayed beautifully through family and friends bonding, especially Yasmin’s rapport with her father and brothers.

As the book moves on to the final chapters, it slows down a bit but nevertheless reaches to a satisfying climax which made me quite happy. The writer has used a lot of phrases in Urdu/Bengali to give it an oriental flavour, which works for me very well but it may be a bit of a put off for English readers. Though the terms she uses are well-known and pretty common such as the mention of “Chicken Jalfrezi (Curry)” or saying “Salaam” for greeting instead of “hello”, and they are easily understandable in the context of the novel, the publisher could have put a glossary in the end for reference.

Rekha Waheed maintains her “eastern inclination” throughout and keeps the characters well-woven into the structure of the plot. Given that this is only her second novel, after “The A-Z Guide to Arranged Marriage”, I think she has done a wonderful job and definitely shows potential for even better novels in the future. “Little Black Dress” books are known for their passionate, saucy and seductive romances and this one is no less than the rest.

Rating: 8.5/10


  1. Sounds like a fun read! Following you from bookblogs - look forward to more reviews.

  2. Thanks for following me. I will check your blog too!:)

  3. I hadn't heard about this book - but I want to read it now!
    Following you after finding your message on Book Blogs - you'll find this is a great site for networking. Good luck!

  4. @Daborah: Rekha is a relatively new author so not many people have read her novels, but I think they are really good and you should give this book a go! Happy reading!:)
    Yes, indeed its a great site!:)
    Thx for your wishes!

  5. Rekha Waheed is really lucky that she found you to introduce her as she is relatively new as writer. The detailed intro given by you shows that the novel is very interesting. Romantic comedy in the back ground of different cultures and well woven plot definitely provokes many to read. Great going Komal.

  6. @ankhseojhal: Thanks a lot for your detailed comment. It looks like u really enjoyed every bit of it. Your comment perked up my day!:)

  7. That sounds like an awesome book. I haven't read a lot about the Muslim culture, but would love to know more about it especially since my sister-in-law's family is Muslim. ;)

  8. @Elisabeth: I was waiting for your comment!:) Do read it for a glimpse into Muslim culture, u can go to first line of my review and click on "Muslim" and "South Asian" to know more. Keep reading my posts!:)

  9. OH! This sounds like so much fun!

    Sadly my library doesn't have it. I think I'll request they buy it! However, since the Amazon price is so good, I may buy it now so I don't have to wait for the library. We have an amazing system but I'm not that patient! ;)


  10. @Ellen: Just click on the Amazon icon at the start of my post and it will take you on their site to buy this book. I am sure it will reach you in 1-2 days!:) I can't help smiling on how excited you are to get this book. Lemme know how u find it when u get to read it yourself!:)

  11. I love books that consciously use other cultures to compare to what we are used to over here. Think I will check this out too!

  12. @Charlotte: Yes, same here. I think it broadens one's mindset, exposure to different cultures adds to one's knowledge of things too and it always comes in handy when you travel and mix with people from various backgrounds. Keep reading my blog!:)

  13. Komal- Thanks for the follow! I follow you, too (cluedn). I liked your review~Interesting!
    Tammy@Tammy's Book Parlor

  14. Thanks a lot dear Tammy!:)
    U made my day!:)

  15. New follower! You can follow me back if you want to at www.kballard87.blogspot.com!


  16. Thx lisa n kballard..sure I ll!

  17. Oh wow. How fun! I hadn't heard of this.

  18. @Juju: You have got to read this, its a great little book!:)


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