Modern-day New York, a subway train. David, an American-Jewish jazz musician, torn between his dreams and his parents’ expectations, sees a woman across the carriage. Ameena, a British-Pakistani artist who left Manchester to escape the pressure from her conservative family, sees David.
When a moment of sublime beauty occurs unexpectedly, the two connect, moved by their shared experience. From this flows a love that it appears will triumph above all. But as David and Ameena navigate their relationship, their ambitions and the city they love, they discover the external world is not so easy to keep at bay.
Ami Rao’s masterful debut novel picks apart the lives of two people, stripping them of their collective identities and, in doing so, facing up to the challenge of today: can love give us the freedom to accept our differences?
‘Exquisite. Beautiful. Provocative. I love her writing.’ — Jim Lawless, author of Taming Tigers
‘I’ve never read such an accurate and telling evocation of the additional complications of personal creative expression. Its truth makes it hard to read in places but Rao’s sparkling voice leads you through.’ — Tim Hayward, writer, broadcaster and columnist
‘A touching story of multicultural love, desire, and achievement with “soul” at its heart. Ami writes in a way that makes you feel you are there in the story with David and Ameena, improvising jazz with David and helping Ameena find honesty in her art – an inspirational read!’ — Geoffrey Horton, musician and vocalist
‘Ami Rao intricately weaves threads of love, family, politics and identity to create a beautiful, and very real, modern love story that sparkles beneath a New York skyline.’ — Huma Qureshi, author of How We Met
‘One of the most emotionally rich and mesmerizing novels I’ve read in some time. Rao’s gorgeous and graceful writing makes David and Ameena compulsively readable. This book will seduce you, enthrall you, and change the way you think about love.’ — Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Ali: A Life