Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bride and Groom” as Want to Read:
Bride and Groom
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bride and Groom

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Runner-up for 2015 Russian Booker Prize.

From one of the most exciting voices in modern Russian literature, Alisa Ganieva, comes Bride and Groom, the tumultuous love story of two young city-dwellers who meet when they return home to their families in rural Dagestan. When traditional family expectations and increasing religious and cultural tension threaten to shatter their
Paperback, 300 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Deep Vellum Publishing (first published 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bride and Groom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bride and Groom

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  170 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bride and Groom
I had a great time reading Alisa Ganieva's The Mountain and the Wall around Christmas 2015, and so this December I jumped at the chance to read the second of her books to be translated to English. After reading both books, I'm impressed by her genre-hopping skill, each time firmly within a literary mode; the earlier book was dystopian speculative fiction; this is a romance. (Literary romance is not something you see a lot of these days - or maybe the plotlines of the American and British ones I ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wanda, Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
Reading Europe - Russia: Bride and Groom. Radio 4's journey across Europe exploring the best in contemporary literature.

By one of the most exciting voices in modern Russian literature, Alisa Ganieva, Bride and Groom is a tragi-comic novel about family expectations, religious and cultural tensions, and power struggles in rural Dagestan. It's also a love story.

Both Patya and Marat are young, successful and live in Moscow. They have made it: they were able to escape the Cau
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I had such high hopes. A Russian writer who can skewer Moscow hipsterdom (including stereotypes about Islam) and then turn the same incisive wit on Dagestani courtship traditions and political corruption is a force to be reckoned with. And much of the book is funny and fierce, coming from the alternating perspectives of Patya (female) and Marat (male), smart young Dagestanis who have spent time in Moscow, and who are too modern for Central Asian customs yet too sensible to be lured into the urba ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-read
A mostly successful marriage of Austen-adjacent romance novel and fascinating insights into Dagestani culture. The ending doesn’t quite work, but I still highly recommend this if you’re at all interested in the northern Caucasus.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion, russian, ps-2020
I enjoyed this book, both a bit horrified and amused although anyone familiar with organized religion will recognize some of these situations and struggles. I was only disappointed with the end. It was like the author took the story away from us at the end, like taking a record off the turntable with a loud scritch rather than letting us hear the whole song....but really she was telling a different story than the story I thought I was reading and wanted to hear.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are some places in the world where it seems, for all the advances in technology and medicine, that people still live in the past. In the case of Marat and Patya, the protagonists of Alisa Ganieva’s deeply affecting novel Bride and Groom (translated by Carol Apollonio), their parents and friends live according to rules laid out centuries before the Soviet Union attempted to impose itself on Dagestan. Marat and Patya return from their jobs in Moscow to their hometown outside of Makhachkala i ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Translated from Russian, Bride and Groom gives us a seldom heard voice and portrayal of life in Dagestan. Both Marat and Patya have returned to their settlement Dagestani hometown after practising law in Moscow. They have to deal with family pressure to get married, small-town gossip and religious extremism. I feel that having some background knowledge, such as the difference between Wahhabism and Sufism or the political tension of Dagestan and the Caucasus region as a whole with the Russians, w ...more
I obediently went to the kitchen, turned on the electric samovar, and got out the broadleaf green tea, cloves, black peppercorns, little bags of dried marjoram and mint, sage, thyme, bay leaf, and a jar of caraway. Scald the inside of a teapot with hot water, add just a pinch or a couple of pieces of each herb, pour boiling water over the mixture, then set it on a distributor over a low flame...

The air smelled of diesel fuel. the pebbles on the embankment, and the sorrow of others.

A man in the c
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
For Women in Translation Month. It was interesting. When I'm reading Russian novels in translation, my brain is expecting the 19thC, reading of computers mixed with the older traditions was a bit jarring, but good.
Learned more about Sufism and Muslims in Russia.
Had never heard of the Republic of Dagestan, beautiful country with craggy mountains, which is on the Caspian Sea so it has a shoreline, in Georgia. Learned a lot.
More background and context would have been helpful. For instance, the di
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Invariably of interest in part because it is about life in Dagestan, and how often do you read about that? As with her other novel, it has a slightly surreal, dreamy quality. But, anticipating a larger audience, the author also smuggles in a bit more explicit explanation in the form of musings about Dagestan that help to educate an ignorant reader. It's subtle though -- the real focus is the romance plot, and it's a compelling and moving one. Perceptive readers may notice an allegorical dimensio ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in this world so different from mine, but there were also parts where I found it hard to stay focused. The ending is quite abrupt, sad, and random. Were this book a documentary I would have been more touched. Because I know that injustice, police brutality, religious fanaticism etc are a reality for many people, but in this fictional setting it felt partly unreal or remote.
The main character is a relatable woman in the sense that she feels a bit lost, goes to parties, finds it h
Anneke Alnatour
So I really loved this one! I have never been to Dagestan, nor do I know anyone from there, but I really have the feeling I know both Patya and Marat. The book was funny, and quite impactful at the same time (those last 20 pages had me with my mouth open!). I loved the insight into Dagestani culture, society and the impact of "foreign Islamic groups."

Definitely recommended!
Julie A
This is the first book that I've read about Dagestan. I liked it, it read quickly, and the situation was interesting; but it came to a screeching and confusing halt at the end.

All and all, I think I would have gotten more out of this if I knew more about Sufism and Salafism - the afterword was very helpful - but this was an interesting introduction to the topics.
Noah Skocilich
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was excellent, and enchanting.

And, owing to the unique way in which it was enchanting, I don’t know that there’s much I can say that would not give away too much.

It’s quite beautiful though, and I’m already looking forward to reading more by Alisa Ganieva.
Alanna Inserra
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Imagine Jane Austen with wry observation of local power politics and corruption, with a dash of extremism. Strong recommendation for anyone who likes their romantic comedy to come complete with an insightful analysis of life in the Caucasus.
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy Towley
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holy shit. It is not often that a book completely floors me in the last ten pages but this one did it.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
DAGESTAN- Love against a backdrop of prejudice, religion and unwavering family interference.
A'Llyn Ettien
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting, character-filled love story/social drama/mystic reflection.
Mohammad H
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an absolute delight! I cannot recommend it enough.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translated, russia
On the surface for the most part this reads like a fairly light story of the search for an appropriate husband followed by star crossed love, but beneath the surface there is so much more. Gives a good, fresh-feeling insight to a part of the world little known to most of us.
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Nach einem Jahr in Moskau kehrt Patja zurück in ihr Heimatdorf in Dagestan. Dort scheint die Zeit stehengeblieben zu sein, denn für Frauen Mitte 20 gibt es nur ein Thema: Heiraten und Kinder bekommen. Mit 26 gilt Patja schon beinahe als alte Jungfer, die niemand mehr möchte. Auch Marat, ein Anwalt, der hauptsächlich in Moskau arbeitet, erlebt dies und seine Eltern haben kurzerhand einen Hochzeitstermin ausgemacht und einen großen Saal gebucht. Nur die Braut muss noch gefunden werden. Während die ...more
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
This was such an interesting read! The entire concept of love portrayed in this book differs greatly from what I am used to from my German perspective. I think it's crucial to stay open-minded when reading books like this one, or else you probably won't enjoy it as much. Minor spoiler (not really, but if you really don't want to know anything going into this book, skip the following sentence): (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book sheds light on the complex issues at force in this mountainous country. I wish I’d read the afterword first, I didn’t understand the Sufi symbolism.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this because I'm doing a reading challenge that called for a book from a BRICS country, and this book was also on the Globe and Mail's most recommended books of the year. I enjoyed parts of it, but overall didn't know what to make of it - maybe the English translation wasn't up to bridging the culture gap? At first it seemed it was going to be a sort of modern-day Jane Austen tale set in Dagestan (two lovers kept apart by family conflict, prevailing in the end). Then it seemed like the lo ...more
Kris McCracken
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting read with a very different perspective on concepts like "love" and "marriage", explored here through the eyes of a pair of educated Dagestani young people: out of place in Moscow; equally out of place back home.

Well worth seeking out.
Michel Salim
rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2019
Anna Kasradze
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2020
rated it did not like it
May 02, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Disoriental
  • Flowers of Mold
  • God's Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World
  • Then the Fish Swallowed Him
  • The Translator's Bride
  • Thirteen Months of Sunrise
  • Eine Seuche in der Stadt: Szenario
  • Arid Dreams
  • La Bastarda
  • Afropean: Notes from Black Europe
  • Tram 83
  • That Hair
  • Eine Formalie in Kiew
  • Frontier
  • High as the Waters Rise
  • Зулейха открывает глаза
  • Schwere See: Eine Reise um das Schwarze Meer
  • Жизня
See similar books…
Alisa Ganieva (or Ganiyeva; Russian: Алиса Аркадьевна Ганиева) is a Russian author, writing short prose and essays. In 2009, she was awarded the Debut literary prize for her debut novel Salaam, Dalgat!, published using the pseudonym of Gulla Khirachev.

Ganieva was born in Moscow in an Avar family but moved with her family to Dagestan, where she lived in Gunib and later attended school in Makhachkal

Related Articles

Of Women and Salt, the debut novel by Gabriela Garcia, has the feel of a sweeping family saga that’s hard to reconcile with the fact that it’s...
0 likes · 0 comments