I liked young adult book The Beauty of the Moment by Canadian author Tanaz Bhathena. I liked the characters. I liked the fact that the book was set Mississauga, Ontario, rather than Toronto, and I liked everything that happened – how the characters grow and develop and learn to like themselves and who they are.
I liked Malcolm, although like Susan, the main character, I suspect I wouldn’t actually like him if I had to be in class with him. He would annoy me. But I liked how he was always a gentleman, that he did the honourable thing, and he was a good guy despite the face he put to the world.
And I loved Malcolm’s sister. She was amazing.
I enjoyed learning about the Indian culture, both in Saudi Arabia, where Susan and her parents lived before coming to Canada for a better life, and the various cultures and religions followed by people born and raised here.
I didn’t enjoy or understand this education, marriage, career thing that goes on. It makes me shake my head that this is still a thing. So much pressure. I am always grateful for growing up in a family where you married for love and not whether the person had the right last name and came from the same place as you did and there wasn’t pressure to be doctor or a lawyer: you chose a career and a path that you wanted to follow.
“Susan is the new girl — she’s sharp and driven and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy — he started raising hell at age 15, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.
Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.
Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.
Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.”
A copy of The Beauty of the Moment is courtesy of
Penguin Random House Canada for an honest review. The opinions are my own.