Title: Hana Khan Carries On
Author: Uzma Jalaluddin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada, Berkley Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: April 13, 2021
From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.
As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.
Hana Khan works at her mother’s restaurant, Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, in Toronto. She also has an unpaid internship at a Toronto radio station. But what she wants to do is tell her story on the radio. She hosts an anonymous podcast, where she has made a friend out of one of her listeners. Her mother’s restaurant is failing. With her pregnant sister no longer able to work there and a competing restaurant opening on the same street, Hana has to figure out how to save their restaurant. On top of that Hana has to deal with racist attacks and potentially falling for the owner of the rival restaurant. Hana has to learn to use her voice and follow her dreams.
This was a fabulous story set in my hometown, Toronto. Hana was part of a tight knit community in the east end of the city. All of the businesses had a strong relationship with each other, and they felt threatened when the rival restaurant was opening. There were some shocking twists at the end of the story that I didn’t expect. Hana’s family had some secrets that were hinted at throughout the story, but one secret that was revealed close to the end really surprised me. I love it when a story has a shocking reveal that I didn’t predict.
This story addressed anti-Islamic racism. There were multiple attacks, one personally against Hana and another on her community. Hana also had to deal with discrimination at her internship. These racist moments were so upsetting to read because they are things that happen in real life. This is a reality for many people in their daily lives, even in a diverse city like Toronto. I hope that one day stories that have racist events like this will be part of the past and no longer be relevant.
I really enjoyed this story!
Thank you HarperCollins Canada and Berkley Romance for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Have you read Hana Khan Carries On? What did you think of it?