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Fiction General

Much Ado About Nada

A Novel

by (author) Uzma Jalaluddin

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
General, General, Humorous
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A sparkling second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she’s still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother’s unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it’s a far cry from realizing the start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.

Nada’s best friend, Haleema, is determined to pry her from her shell . . . and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema’s fiancé, Zayn? And did Haleema mention Zayn’s brother Baz will be there?

What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a past—some of it good, some of it bad, and all of it secret. At the conference, that past all comes hurtling back at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can she truly say goodbye to what once was, or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?

About the author

UZMA JALALUDDIN is the author of Ayesha at Last and Hana Khan Carries On. A high school English teacher, she is also a Toronto Star columnist and a contributor to the Atlantic. Her first novel was published in the US, the UK, Australia and India and was optioned for film by Amy Pascal and Sony Pictures.


Uzma Jalaluddin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Much Ado About Nada is the contemporary take on Persuasion that I've been waiting for. I've been a huge fan of Uzma Jalaluddin's since her debut novel, but this one has become my favorite. Nada is feisty, complicated, and wholly relatable, and watching her love story with Baz unfold gave me butterflies at times and squeezed my heart tight at others. As ever, Jalaluddin expertly balances explorations of family, faith, and love in a smart and authentic way. I am such a fan."
Emily Henry, bestselling author of Beach Reads and People We Meet on Vacation:

"Perfection! At once achingly romantic, wonderfully funny and with a cast of characters that makes you want to move to Toronto immediately, Much Ado About Nada is a book you'll wish you could read again for the first time. Uzma Jalaluddin is one of the best writers in romance today--and this gorgeous book proves it." — bestselling author Sarah Maclean

"I'll read anything Uzma Jalaluddin writes. Her latest embroils a pair of stubborn ex-lovers in a Jane Austen mess à la Persuasion. . . . Much Ado About Nada is warm, witty, and utterly charming." — bestselling author Kate Quinn

"Knocks it clean out of the park . . . . When the reveal came I actually gasped aloud. It is, in a word, brilliant." — New York Times Book Review

"Uzma Jalaluddin has a remarkable gift for breathing new life into classic romantic plots. In Nada and Baz, Jalaluddin has created a pair of star-crossed lovers with deep history, crackling chemistry, and a secret that could change everything…if only they could figure out how to forgive themselves and each other. A genuine delight."
Kate Hilton, author of Better Luck Next Time

“Tender, poignant and fiercely original, this is Uzma Jalaluddin’s best book yet! Its warm, witty portrayal of an unforgettable group of characters feels like a family reunion. You will fall in love with Nada, a heroine in her own class. If a slow-burn romance can break your heart while lifting you up to the clouds, Uzma Jalaluddin’s Much Ado About Nada is that book.”
Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of Blackwater Falls

"A lively, romantic story with rich side characters and a convincingly heartbreaking backstory for Nada and Baz. Readers of Sonali Dev’s Austen updates, including Recipe for Persuasion, will adore this gem.” — Booklist (starred review)

"One of the best things about Jalaluddin’s work is the sheer amount of joy she brings to her characters…With Much Ado About Nada, Jalaluddin has written yet another winner—and this time it’s one with a particularly heartwarming, tender and feminist resolution.” — BookPage

"Sure to be a hit among readers who relish a complicated 'will they/won’t they' romantic tale." — Library Journal

“Much Ado About Nada is another spectacular showing from Uzma Jalaluddin. The romantic drama will keep readers’ attention and ensure that they’re turning the pages, but in the end, the heart of the story is Nada’s growth as an individual. And when you close the book after reading those last words, it’s Nada’s strength and persistence that you’ll remember and take with you.” — The Michigan Daily