Vogue on The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
By Megan O'Grady
Once certain borders are crossed, it’s impossible to truly go home again—or so finds Amina, the intrepid young Bangladeshi e-mail-order bride at the center of Freudenberger’s quietly compelling second novel. Arriving in suburban Rochester to start a life with her engineer husband, the cautiously game Amina embarks on a new life filled with curious challenges — balancing college classes with a job at Starbucks; unfathomable quantities of snow; and the difficult-to-read friendliness of Americans. But neither does Amina feel quite like herself back in her village, where she returns, green card in hand, to bring her parents to America, only to find herself drawn in by potent family resentments (and the sympathy of a former suitor). Amina’s American dreaming isn’t about self-invention but about reconciling her own contested boundaries, and her journey through the foreign continent of marriage, full of daily encounters with the unknown, takes on an epic power.