The Other Half of Happiness

The Other Half of Happiness : The laugh-out-loud queen of romantic comedy returns

3.48 (1,140 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sofia Khan is just married. But no-one told her life was going to be this way . . .

Her living situation is in dire straits, her husband Conall is distant, and his annoyingly attractive colleague is ringing all sorts of alarm bells.

When her mother forces them into a belated wedding ceremony (elopement: you can run, but you can't hide), Sofia wonders if it might be a chance to bring them together. But when it forces Conall to confess his darkest secret, it might just tear them apart.

A book to make you smile, laugh and cry, this is the story of a mixed-race marriage and a mixed-up family, for anyone who's ever struggled to balance their pride with their principles, or stuck around to try to mend a broken heart.


'Snort-diet-Coke-out-of-your-nostrils funny . . . will resonate with any woman who's looking for love' Red

'Funny and sparky . . . huge fun.' Jenny Colgan

'The feminist romantic comedy you've been waiting for' Elle

'Fun, fresh and funny' Mhairi McFarlane

'The perfect blend of comedy and romance' Independent
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 27mm | 354g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1785760734
  • 9781785760730
  • 175,355

Review quote

Malik is great at making you laugh one minute and then breaking your heart the next, and this is a relatable story for anyone who has ever struggled to find their way in the world and who knows that there's life on the other side of happily ever after. * Stylist magazine * This book did not disappoint...sensational...I love Sofia! * Ellen Pellen, Youtube * One thing that is certainly not lost throughout the book is the humour, which Malik serves up by the platter. Between a hilarious clash of languages over dinner with the in-laws and razor sharp comebacks from Sofia's mother, finding the funny in the everyday regardless of that day being good or bad is the novel's biggest strength. * The State Of The Arts * A sequel to the wonderful Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged. Now married, there doesn't seem to be a happy ever after for our heroine when new husband Conall grows increasingly distant. So when her mother bullies them into having a proper marriage ceremony, Sofia hopes they'll have another chance at happiness. A warm, tender, funny look at a mixed race marriage that comes with a side-order of heartbreak. NB: Will need tissues. * Red magazine * She's maintained the same lightness of touch that made the first book such fun and again, one can't help but root for Sofia, as she's both real and relatable. That her search for fulfillment is swinging more towards her career than her love life really opens up the story, both challenging what we define as "chick lit" along with the stereotypes many of us might hold about Muslim women. * The National * The Other Half of Happiness is deeper, it's more serious and a lot braver, in terms of writing about marriage. It is a tear-jerker, though I also laughed out loud. The one-liners may be fewer, but they still devastate. * Kate MacDonald * I laughed, I cried, and I learned about another culture in this wonderful story of love, family, friendship, and facing your past. Well-paced and interesting throughout, I read this book in one sitting and I really didn't want it to end (fingers crossed this will not be the last we see of Sofia Khan). THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPINESS is just one of those special books that make your whole body hum, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! * Books of All Kinds * There's plenty to enjoy. * Social Bookshelves * Really enjoyed laughing out loud at Sofia Khan is Not Obliged AND THAT ENDING KILLED ME so obviously I need the sequel and I hope it is full of laughter and cute moments and it's just so great to read a book about a Muslim woman set in London that has nothing to do with terrorism or anything like that. * Juwi's Random Ramblings * Malik's characteristic humorous style of writing is prominent throughout the narrative. 'The Other Half of Happiness' by Ayisha Malik is a sequel to 'Sofia Khan is Not Obliged' and Malik doesn't disappoint. * Indian Fiction For You * the first book is about dating and the second is about marriage, and the baggage it comes with. Plus Sofia gets some purpose beyond finding, and keeping, a husband. * Curiosity Killed The Bookworm * A great book on personal discoveries * Prima * Sofia Khan thought she'd found it all - marrying gorgeous Irishman Conall, who converted to Islam so they could wed. But as their marriage brings problems, she finds happy endings are not simple. A fresh, funny take on rom-com. * Sunday Mirror * Fresh, funny and with a feminist flavour, it's a smart new take on romantic comedy. * The People * Layered with insightful, intelligent observations about people and society . . . Ayisha Malik is a funny, intelligent and insightful writer * Bibliomaniac UK * 'Makes you smile from the very beginning. Sofia is a hilarious protagonist in the same vein as Bridget Jones but the story also tackles plenty of real life issues - relationships, love, pride, grief and the choices that people make in life. * * She's by far the funniest protagonist I've read of so far, so if you're looking for a laugh, please pick up this book right away! * The Books and the Bees * Readers who enjoy the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk will find something both similar yet original in The Other Half of Happiness . . . I was mightily impressed by Malik's second offering. She is without doubt a very talented writer, with an eye for the comic potential of situations, and brings something original and relevant to the table. * Nudge Books, Book of the Month * 'Overall, both stories are great reads! Very well written, increasingly timely and important. They are the exception and they should be the rule! We need more inclusivity in fiction and this is the beginning of a great series - in which I hope there will be a third novel! - with diverse and real characters.' * Elles Belles Notebook * Inclusion in roundup of Books with Muslim Main Characters- ' This book is really funny; it deals with a lot of the stereotypes that people have about Muslims and their love lives, while being respectful, honest and entertaining...Another thing that I loved about the book was that female relationships have such a central place throughout it.' * Book Wanderess * 'it follows Sofia who in book one starts writing about being a Muslim woman on the dating scene - which come on, it sounds hilarious doesn't it? Of course she falls in love and gets married, but that's not a spoiler because it's not the story really. This is about what comes after. So, it's technically the married Muslim Bridget Jones. I totally dig that.' * Pop,Edit.Lit * 'Sofia's sense of humour is what made the book for me. She's funny and also quite deadpan which is my favourite type of humour. Her mother is also funny - her mix up of RSVP and RSPCA being a highlight! A recommended read from me.' * Broadbeans Books * 'Malik has littered the story with a great sense of humour and Sofia is such a fun protagonist to follow.' * The Moor Maiden * Overall, both stories are great reads! Very well written, increasingly timely and important. They are the exception and they should be the rule! We need more inclusivity in fiction and this is the beginning of a great series - in which I hope there will be a third novel! - with diverse and real characters. * Elles Belles Notebook * The book benefits not only from a diary-style format, but also from the fact the focus is less on Sofia's search for love at the personal level, a classic chick-lit topic, but on her search for love at the academic, exploratory level. * Creative Quibble * This book is really funny; it deals with a lot of the stereotypes that people have about Muslims and their love lives, while being respectful, honest and entertaining...Another thing that I loved about the book was that female relationships have such a central place throughout it. * Book Wanderess * A mixed race marriage and a mixed-up family are the ingredients of this hilarious, sharply observed story of newly-wed Sofia Khan and her husband Conall. * My Weekly * a hilarious novel, with a wonderful cast of strong female characters. This novel deserves all the success I have no doubt it will achieve. * Cuckoo Magazine * fresh and new...a compelling modern-day read with some fascinating characters and mixing of cultures at its core; a promising new voice within women's fiction... * A Spoonful of Happy Endings * Hilarious and heartwarming...or maybe heartbreaking? * The Loud Library Reader * I loved how women were displayed in such a raw and honest manner; their vulnerability and independence is clear and how they learn to balance both...Ayisha did not shy away from discussing the topic of love and how far one would go to protect it (not just romantic love). * Lyaina Serina * This is a hilarious book as Sofia Khan continues her journey for happiness. In the previous book Sofia fell in love with the guy next door much to the disappointment of her Muslim family. Here, we see her battle for a happy ever after. Sofia is the Muslim version of Bridget Jones. * Writer's Little Helper * Ayisha has written a romantic comedy with a feisty modern narrator with many touching and laugh out loud moments. Sofia is an honest, down to earth character and everyone can relate to her naive wisdom. Funny and smart * Writers Little Helper * These books are a refreshing take on "chicklit", with a healthy dose of humor in between. Being visibly Muslim, brown and British, and living up to all three identities is no easy task when you're trying to move onto the next stage in life. Sofia Khan books 1 and 2 talk about the protagonist's journey to finding love in a messy and complicated world. * The Tempest * 'Malik challenges the traditional trajectory of the romantic comedy with the strong feminist streak that runs throughout the book. I was so invested in the outcomes for Sofia, that when she did choose her path, I found myself sobbing over her decision. The Other Half of Happiness is an empowering, feminist novel and one of my books of the year.' * The Writes of Women * Malik has written a riotously funny book that has the added dimension of de-mystifying a group of people who are painted with a broad brush by our fast-paced, tunnel-vision news media. Reading both these books will have you thinking about Muslims in London in a completely different way, and make you question the monotony of the depiction that we are usually subject to * The Daily Beast * The sequel to Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged. Sofia's married to Conall but there's a whopping great secret he hasn't told her. Has a punch the air, feminist ending. * The Writes of Women, best books of the year *
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About Ayisha Malik

Ayisha Malik is a writer and editor, living in South London. She holds a BA in English Literature and a First Class MA in Creative Writing. Her novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged and The Other Half of Happiness, starring 'the Muslim Bridget Jones', were met with great critical acclaim, and Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was chosen as 2019's Cityread book. Ayisha was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick, shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award and Marie Claire's Future Shapers Awards. Ayisha is also the ghost writer for The Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain.
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Rating details

1,140 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 16% (179)
4 34% (390)
3 36% (407)
2 11% (127)
1 3% (37)
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