What is the summary for Brick Lane?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Brick Lane is a novel named after a real street in London, England.  It is a street smack dab in the middle of the transplanted, English, Bangladesh population. It is generally about a Bangadeshi woman named Nazneen who is a refugee in London in her later teens and forced into an arranged marriage.

Nazneen's arranged marriage to the forty-year-old Chanu is just one of the new adventures in Nazneen's world.  Nazneen doesn't understand the crosswalk. Nazneen doesn't understand neighbors who bully her.  Nazneen doesn't understand how to be a wife to a depressed husband.  Further, Nazneen understands almost nothing of the culture (or the English language) in London.

Nazneen tries hard to be a good Muslim.  She tries hard not to question what happens in her life and simply dives into her work as wife and mother.  Nazneen herself is astonished when she falls in love with a passionate younger man.  Through this attraction, Nazneen even begins to question her faith and her security.

In conclusion, it's important to note the further Bangladeshi community is represented as well (especially in the character of Hasina, Nazneen's sister).  The entire novel is an interesting exploration of cultural differences due to multicultural diversity in London, England.

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