My Beautiful England
My Beautiful England tells the stories of three immigrant women who have come to a small city in England called Burnley. Sumalee (Su for short) marries an Englishman named Bobby, and moves from Thailand after her mother and her husband were taken by a large tsunami. But for her, the trauma from experiencing loss is her largest obstacle. Samina has come from Pakistan to live with her husband but is unhappy in her marriage, as she longs for the freedoms she can’t have because she’s bound by her Pakistani culture. Lenka is from Poland, and is motivated to provide a happy, safe environment for her daughter, Anna. Seeking refuge from an abusive husband, she, like the other women, finds solace in the company of her classmates at the English Language Centre.
This is a novel about how friendships form between seemingly very different people, and about finding the happiness within the life one builds for themselves. There were some parts in the middle that felt slow, but the writing was engaging and the characters were approachable. The ending, in particular, was beautifully written and Samina’s final poem, which is the basis for the title of this novel, left me touched.
|Cutting Edge Press
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