Arts & Leisure

Book review: The Startup Wife — by Tahmima Anam

(Scribner Book Company)

Asha, daughter of Bengali immigrants, is a coder, and a brilliant coder at that. She is developing an algorithm that will attempt to endow AI, artificial intelligence, with empathy. When she reunites with her high school crush, Cyrus, and this time it is on for real, and moves in with him and his closest living companion, Jules, the three of them come up with an idea  — create a platform to provide people with meaningful, life-passage rituals based on their interests and passion, a quasi-not-religion. Cyrus is already on this path, he performs individualistic rituals for those seeking a more meaningful, personally-tailored wedding, funeral, or celebration. Together they conceive and form a company, create the platform, and massive success is theirs. Cyrus becomes the guru, the face of the company, taking more than his fair share of glory, and Asha finds herself, a brown woman in a male-dominated industry, sidelined. It’s up to her to find her voice and take her rightful place, and reveal if the entwining of work, family and love is a scenario that is feasible for anyone, even the most well intentioned people. Convincing, realistic dialogue and action gives the main characters, all three of them, plus the supporting characters, a realistic voice and rich stories of their own.

— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.


9 Contemporary Fiction For A Relaxing Read

Mona at Sea, by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris

With Teeth, by Kristen Arnett

Seven Days in June, by Tia Williams

Golden Girl, by Elin Hilderbrand

A Theater for Dreamers, by Polly Samson

The Guncle, by Steven Rowley

It Had to Be You, by Georgia Clark

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