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An unforgettable debut novel about first love, family obligation and finding your way.

In the wake of first heartbreak, Nur somehow meets his perfect woman. Yasmina is bright, beautiful and, what’s most remarkable, she’s into him too. Before long, they are inseparable.

But no relationship is perfect. For Yasmina, the complexities of family and cultural expectation are something she wants to navigate with Nur by her side. For Nur, the weight of being the ‘good son’ is suffocating, and threatens everything he wants for his future with Yasmina. As the pressure mounts, can Nur find a way to offer her everything she deserves, or is he taking his own good intentions for granted?

'On the surface Good Intentions is a poignant romance about the cultural barriers that stand in the way of two young people pursuing an honest relationship. Yet beneath there is a cautionary tale about what happens when you get so caught up in your own vulnerability that you forget your responsibility to others.' The Sunday Times

'This is a complex, tender and bittersweet love story that interrogates familial obligation, religion, race, what it means to be “good” – and specifically, what it means to be “good” to each other.' The Skinny


'There’s no ironic distance between the author and the protagonists, and the lengthy passages of dialogue feel like eavesdropping on a low-level argument between a couple at the next restaurant table. The general impression is that, with solid jobs and homes out of reach, these earnest millennials have vastly over-invested in relationships, and that carries its own poignancy.' The Financial Times

'If you like reading books about complicated or unlikable human beings, Good Intentions is a great option as it is also layered, culturally and politically relevant, and thought-provoking.' The New Arab

'Nur is nonetheless a sympathetic protagonist and Ali sensitively explores racial tension and filial guilt.' The Guardian

'An exploration of the ways that race and family ties may complicate or imperil romance even if everyone means well.' Kirkus Reviews


'There is something of a Sally Rooney vibe to this story about twentysomethings navigating adult waters (the snappy dialogue, the conflicted emotions, the relationship dramas), but Ali’s novel veers off on a darker course as questions of race and culture threaten to undermine a once solid love. This timely, savvy novel is recommended.' The Library Journal

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