The Retreat: A Novel (Paperback)
In Zara Raheem’s newest novel we meet Nadia Abbasi—whose attempts to save her marriage create unexpected complications—and follow her as she navigates the twists and turns of love. Perfect for fans of Sonali Dev, Christina Lauren, and Sara Desai.
Nadia Abbasi’s marriage is falling apart. It starts with a gifted Roomba, but when she stumbles upon some questionable photos in her husband Aman’s office, everything makes sense—the late-night texting, the sudden interest in fitness, the new clothes. Aman—the kind, thoughtful man she married—is having an affair.
Determined to find out what went wrong in her marriage, Nadia enlists the help of Zeba, the estranged sister she hasn’t seen or spoken to since their mom’s funeral over a year ago. As the two sisters fight to reconcile their past, Nadia realizes her relationship with Aman is not the only one that needs mending.
Nevertheless, the plan itself is simple: confront the “other woman” and win back her husband. Her clumsy attempt at sleuthing leads her from yoga studio—Aman’s latest hangout—to a three-day wellness retreat in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains. But somewhere in between falling out of tree pose and choking down plant-based meals, Nadia’s plans unravel again when she discovers more than she expected about herself, her husband, and the nature of love.
Zara Raheem received her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. She is the recipient of the James I. Murashige Jr. Memorial award in fiction and was selected as one of 2019’s Harriet Williams Emerging Writers. She resides in Southern California where she teaches English and creative writing. The Marriage Clock is her first novel.
"A brilliantly etched portrayal of a young woman navigating the ties that bind and finding herself in the process. You will want to devour it in one sitting." — Yaffa S. Santos, author of A Taste of Sage and A Touch of Moonlight
“Deeply poignant and delightfully entertaining, The Retreat is the perfect novel about love, longing and forgiveness.” — Lauren Gershell, author of That's What Frenemies Are For
"A gentle yet heart-wrenching exploration of how endings can also be seen as beginnings—depending on your point of view." — Kirkus Reviews
"Raheem’s second novel (after The Marriage Clock) is heartfelt, well-paced, and engrossing. The book explores themes of infertility, gender roles, sisterhood, the South Asian diaspora, and the experience of children of immigrants. Raheem’s story is lively and funny, and readers will feel like cheering on lovable Nadia as she takes desperate measures to save her marriage and find peace." — Library Journal
“An intimate and entertaining glimpse into the life of a young Muslim American woman whose family wants her married. Now! You’ll want to read this in one sitting.” — Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author, on The Marriage Clock
“Please cancel your weekend plans, because once you dive into The Marriage Clock, it’ll be impossible to tear yourself away. This romantic and insightful book introduces us to Leila Abid, who’s torn between her traditional parents trying to arrange her marriage and her own desire for agency.” — Cosmopolitan
“The Marriage Clock is a warm, funny debut novel about love, how we find it, and how we can keep it.” — Popsugar
“Zara Raheem’s The Marriage Clock, however, takes a unique and charming look at the beliefs we hold in regard to love and marriage. And that’s precisely why readers should be adding this novel to their August TBR piles.” — Culturess
“Raheem’s debut uses chick-lit tropes to smartly skewer modern ways of dating and to bring humor to more traditional South Asian ones.” — Booklist on The Marriage Clock