books of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This is Sanghera’s first novel, following his exquisite award winning memoir The Boy with the Topknot. On the surface it’s a book about the Sikh immigrant experience in the UK but it is also much more broadly about families, the changing of generations and passing of time and how we manage when life turns out differently to what we wanted. Witty, charming, warm and fresh it offers up a fascinating view of modern British life.

If you like Sathnam Sanghera you might also like to read books by Catherine O'Flynn, Jhumpa Lahiri and Meera Syal.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera

This is shortlisted for the Costa first novel award. To Arjan Banga, returning to the Black Country after the unexpected death of his father, his family's corner shop represents everything he has tried to leave behind - a lethargic pace of life, insular rituals and ways of thinking. But when his mother insists on keeping the shop open, he finds himself being dragged back, forced into big decisions about his imminent marriage back in London and uncovering the history of his broken family - the elopement and mixed-race marriage of his aunt Surinder, the betrayals and loyalties, loves and regrets that have played out in the shop over more than fifty years. Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett's classic novel The Old Wives' Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop - itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities. This is an epic tale of family, love, and politics, spanning the second half of the twentieth century, and the start of the twenty-first. Told with humour, tenderness and insight, it manages to be both a unique and urgent survey of modern Britain by one of Britain's most promising young writers, and an ingenious reimagining of a classic work of fiction.

Browse inside this book


A stunning novel ... touching and funny and feels so fresh ... it just leaps off the page. I adored it. -- Deborah Moggach

Having grown up in a corner shop in the West Midlands, I hoped that Sathnam Sanghera's Marriage Material would resonate. I was expecting acerbic wit, unsentimental tenderness and a Black Country setting - and it lived up to my stupid expectations. I really wanted to like it and I loved it - which never seems to happen. I usually damn things with high hopes. It was a lot of things I expected - funny and tender and scathing - but it's insanely gripping as well. So much of the newsagent detailing was completely spot on - there was plenty of my Dad in the character of Tanvir, plenty of all of my family in there really. A great achievement. -- Catherine O'Flynn, author of What Was Lost

About the Author

Sathnam Sanghera was born in 1976. He is an award-winning journalist who, until recently, was chief feature writer at The Financial Times. He now works for The Times and lives in London. This is his first book.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

3rd September 2009


Sathnam Sanghera

More books by Sathnam Sanghera
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


464 pages


Relationship Stories
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill