Brick Lane Summary

Brick Lane Summary

Brick Lane Summary

Author: Monica Ali

Type: Story ,literary fiction

Subject: Brick Lane is a fiction novel that has been categorised as literary fiction.It’s a contemporary novel that focuses on Muslim communities and so it is often classed as British Immigrant fiction.Brick Lane stands out as a novel in its exploration of the lives of Muslim women who have immigrated to England as well as those who have stayed in Bangladesh

Characters: Mrs. Islam , Chanu Ahmed, Nazneen

Hamid, Chanu, Hasina, Karim, Mumtaz, Dr. Azad, Razia Iqbal, Abdul, Ahmed, Aleya, james, Mr. Chowdhury, Shahnaz, The Tattoo Woman, Lovely, Zainab, Zaid


This is how she was “left to her fate”. Her younger sister, after attaining the age of 16 ran away with the nephew of the saw mill owner.Her father waited for arrival to kill her.However, she did not return.Nazneen was married to Channu, a man of 40, in London.

Her husband would often consider her to be an ordinary girl and said “A blind uncle is better than no uncle.” She is introduced to Mrs Islam, who tells that she is running a madrasa and “keeps her purdah in mind.”

Nazneen makes friends with other women like Razia and Jorina.Razia becomes her best friend and both of them share their feelings with each other.

Razia also reveals that Mrs Islam runs a pub and her two sons are drug-addicts. She also tells Nazneen that Mrs Islam is a bad money-lender. Nazneen once happens to see ice-skating on television and desires to do it.

She also desires to go out but her husband forbids this idea on the ground that other people will talk badly about her.We are also introduced to Dr Azad; a Bangladeshi immigrant, who often pays a visit to Chanu.Chanu tells him how much-studied he is and also shows him his certificates.However, he could not get a good job.

Now he desires to return back to Bangladesh. Nazneen gives birth to a boy (Raqib).As he grows up, Chanu desires to provide him with cultural education so that he may not attain the bad habits of the west.

Mrs Islam desires to take away Raqib for some time, however, Nazneen resists.This is the first incident when Nazneen is seen resisting.

Raqib dies in hospital.After his death, Nazneen often goes into reminiscence.She thinks how she was left to her fate and compares her life with that of Raqib as in this case she challenged fate by taking him to hospital.

She also memorizes the time when her mother died.Her aunt Mumtaz told her that on that day, her mother had worn her best sari.Nazneen wonders why her mother wore her best sari.

After some years, Nazneen gives birth to two girls namely Shahana (the elder) and Bibi (the younger).As they grow up, Chanu starts teaching them the culture of Bangladesh.


Bibi takes a little bit interest, however, Shahana always reacts badly.But we do not find any violence in Chanu over his daughters. He just warns Shahana but does nothing.

Dr Azad never invites Chanu to his home and ultimately Chanu and Nazeen go there.They come to know that relations between Dr Azad and his wife are not good and his daughter is also on the wrong track.This is why Dr.Azad never invited them to his home.

Chanu resigns from his job without any reason and becomes a taxi-driver.He borrows the huge sum from Mrs Islam.He buys a computer, a sewing machine, and other household things.To meet expenses, Nazneen starts sewing business at home.

As Chanu is busy in the struggle for money, Karim enters into Nazneen’s life.Karim is a Bangladeshi immigrant.He feels difficulty in speaking a native language but speaks English without any problem.

He is also a member of a Bangladeshi Organisation meant for uplift and development of Bangladeshi culture.Both fall in love.

Karim makes Nazneen know herself and develops her personality.Despite Chanu’s restrictions, Nazneen attends Karim’s meetings. Karim often dominates his rivals during the meetings and Nazneen is quite impressed by him.

Gradually, Karim gives Nazneen opportunity to develop her mental capacity and she starts asking questions even to her husband who earlier just boasted his knowledge so as to downgrade others’ cognition.

As Chanu remains out of the house during the day, Mrs Islam starts coming to Nazneen to demand her money.Initially, Nazneen pays money on her every visit without asking any question. However, one day she decides not to pay any more.

On that day Mrs Islam comes with both of her sons.When Nazneen refuses to pay, her sons show violence by breaking household things. Nazneen remained determined and Mrs Islam ultimately goes away.

Initially, Nazneen was aware of the fact that Razia’s son was a drug addict but never dared to tell her.To buy drugs, he even started selling furniture.Now Razia becomes aware of it and thus Dr Azad starts his treatment.

Chanu makes preparation to leave for Bangladesh.On the last day, he takes his family on a picnic.Shahana decides to run away as she is not willing to go to Bangladesh.

On the night before departure, Nazneen tells Chanu that she is not going with him. Chanu agrees.Shahana runs away; however, with the help of Karim, Nazneen brings her back.

Chanu departs for Bangladesh. Nazneen gives up her relation with Karim.Razia and Nazneen’s daughters take her to someplace with her eyes closed.

On opening her eyes, Nazneen finds herself on the ice skating ground and on the advice of her daughters and Razia, she goes for it.

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