Much Ado About Nada
A sparkling second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion...
Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she’s still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother’s unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it’s a far cry from realizing her start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.
Nada’s best friend Haleema is determined to pry her from her shell…and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference held downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema’s fiancé, Zayn. And did Haleema mention Zayn’s brother Baz will be there?
What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a past—some of it good, some of it bad and all of it secret. At the conference, that past all comes hurtling at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can Nada truly say goodbye to once was or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?
Praise for Much Ado About Nada
"Much Ado About Nada is the contemporary take on Persuasion that I've been waiting for. I've been a huge fan of Uzma Jalaluddin's since her debut novel, but this one has become my favorite. Nada is feisty, complicated, and wholly relatable, and watching her love story with Baz unfold gave me butterflies at times and squeezed my heart tight at others. As ever, Jalaluddin expertly balances explorations of family, faith, and love in a smart and authentic way. I am such a fan."—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Happy Place
“Persuasion retellings, like all second-chance romances, have to find a balance between a breakup serious enough to stick for years and a resolution that lets he reader trust those issues have been overcome. It’s hard for me to think of a time I’ve seen it done this elegantly; when the reveal came I actually gasped aloud. It is, in a word, brilliant.”—The New York Times Book Review
"I'll read anything Uzma Jalaluddin writes. Her latest embroils a pair of stubborn ex-lovers in a Jane Austen mess a la Persuasion: frustrated tech engineer Nada is tired of her job, her mother's matchmaking, and living at home with her parents; the last thing she needs is a run-in with Baz at the local Muslim conference in Toronto. Nada and Baz's past won't stop tripping them up—is it possible they still have a future? Much Ado about Nada is warm, witty, and utterly charming."—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
"Perfection! At once achingly romantic, wonderfully funny, and with a cast of characters that makes you want to move to Toronto immediately, Much Ado about Nada is a book you'll wish you could read again for the first time. Uzma Jalaluddin is one of the best writers in romance today—and this gorgeous book proves it."—Sarah Maclean, New York Times bestselling author of Heartbreaker
"Uzma Jalaluddin has a remarkable gift for breathing new life into classic romantic plots. In Nada and Baz, Jalaluddin has created a pair of star-crossed lovers with deep history, crackling chemistry, and a secret that could change everything…if only they could figure out how to forgive themselves and each other. A genuine delight."—Kate Hilton, bestselling author of Better Luck Next Time
“Tender, poignant and fiercely original, this is Uzma Jalaluddin’s best book yet! Its warm, witty portrayal of an unforgettable group of characters feels like a family reunion. You will fall in love with Nada, a heroine in her own class. If a slow-burn romance can break your heart while lifting you up to the clouds, Uzma Jalaluddin’s Much Ado About Nada is that book.”—Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of Blackwater Falls
"A novel by one of my favourite authors set in one of my favourite cities? Yes, please! And yet somehow, Uzma Jalaluddin has still managed to raise the bar. This is a love story that is both addictively tart and marvellously sweet told by a writer who has mastered the art of blending romance with laughter. Nada, Baz and the quirky cast of characters who make up their world are utterly charming. I didn’t want it to end, and will have a hard time waiting patiently for another novel by this outstanding talent."—Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky
"Uzma Jalaluddin’s sizzling new romance is packed with everything from dark secrets, to cyber theft, to seductive Muslim boy bands. This rom com’s intrigue and thrilling plot will keep you turning page after page until the satisfying and unexpected end. This is the hottest hijabi Muslim romance you will ever read. Are Islamic matchmaking conventions worth it? Read and find out.”—Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit show Little Mosque on the Prairie, and author of Jameela Green Ruins Everything
"A lively, romantic story with rich side characters and a convincingly heartbreaking backstory for Nada and Baz. Readers of Sonali Dev’s Austen updates, including Recipe for Persuasion, will adore this gem.”—Booklist, starred review
"One of the best things about Jalaluddin’s work is the sheer amount of joy she brings to her characters…With Much Ado About Nada, Jalaluddin has written yet another winner—and this time it’s one with a particularly heartwarming, tender and feminist resolution.”—BookPage, starred review
"Sure to be a hit among readers who relish a complicated 'will they/won’t they' romantic tale."—Library Journal
“Much Ado About Nada is another spectacular showing from Uzma Jalaluddin. The romantic drama will keep readers’ attention and ensure that they’re turning the pages, but in the end, the heart of the story is Nada’s growth as an individual. And when you close the book after reading those last words, it’s Nada’s strength and persistence that you’ll remember and take with you.”—The Michigan Daily