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The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages

by Sophie Hardach

This is a strange little book but it is very readable and kept me engrossed from start to finish. Be prepared to rethink your views about marriage of all kinds, and about politics and protest.

Extract

‘The fact is, my dear friend, however certain and knowledgeable you feel now, the day you get married you will realise that it’s never clear. You will think, But what am I doing! Do I really want this man? No, I need more time! And then you will find that custom and ceremony oblige you to go through with it, and in fact you will be quite glad about that, because it means you don’t have to decide it all yourself. Later, you will think, But did I really know what I was getting myself into? You will think, But did I actually know the person I married? You will ask yourself these questions, and find that, like most brides, you entered the harsh and stony field of marriage thinking it would be a … what’s the word I’m grappling for … what’s it … a … a …’ He took a deep rattling breath. ‘A flowerbed. Thinking it would be a flowerbed.’

Parallels

Beverley Naidoo by Journey to Jo’burg
Khaled Hosseini by The Kite Runner
Monica Ali by Brick Lane
 

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