Available now | Hardcover | eBook | audiobook | Published by Canongate


Halfway through her PhD and already dreaming of running her own lab, computer scientist Asha has her future all mapped out. Then a chance meeting and whirlwind romance with her old high-school crush, Cyrus, changes everything.

Dreaming big, together with their friends Jules they come up with a revolutionary idea: to build a social networking app that could bring meaning to millions of lives. While Asha creates an ingenious algorithm, Cyrus’s charismatic appeal throws him into the spotlight.

When the app explodes into the next big thing, Asha should be happy, shouldn’t she? But why does she feel invisible in the boardroom of her own company? Why are decisions being made without her? Gripping, witty and razor sharp, The Startup Wife is a blistering novel about big ambitions, speaking out and standing up for what you believe in.


This is a slightly different read for me than normal, a unique read I would say. A debut novel that covers many things from gender, race, religion, feminism, marriage and love, family a need for a belief system, connecting with others. All these things are covered in the story, even a part of the pandemic is included.

Asha Ray and Cyrus meet up again years after they knew each other at school, Asha had always had a crush on Cyrus, but he had been oblivious to it back then. But when they meet again Asha still feels the same and within a couple of months they are married. But not only do they get married but they are working on a start up company along with Cyrus’s rich friend Jules.

Cyrus wants to develop an app that will replace religion, a social media platform that people can go to and meet like minded people to arrange their own type of ritual whether that is to bury the family pet that has died or something more involved. The problem is Cyrus is focused on Cyrus or that’s how I felt, it’s Ash and Jules that have to do most of the work. After all for a start up company you need money, so backers. A big problem is Cyrus doesn’t want to make money from it, he doesn’t want to charge people. Can their marriage survive it? Especially when Cyrus starts becoming the bigger part of the company. The three had started out as equal partners.

If you are into tech, and understand how these things work this may be a more enjoyable read for you. The book is well written but I wasn’t keen on a couple of the characters, Ash seemed to do most of the work and if Cyrus didn’t like something he would just walk out. But I guess that is just part of his makeup.

As they get a place in the perfect exclusive incubator known as Utopia a place for start up companies to begin, there are a few quirky characters developing different things whether it be lab-grown superfoods, or mechanical bees.

The writing is well done with some humour and warmth in the prose. I’m thinking this may appeal to younger readers than me although I am a bit of a geek loving technology some of this was a little over my head.

But this is definitely a writer to be watching out for, with some innovative new ideas. I would like to thank #canongate for an ARC of this book all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

I give this 4⭐️ out of 5.


Tahmima Anam is the recipient of a Commonwealth Writers prize,an O. Henry Prize, and has been named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University and now lives in London where she is on the board of ROLI, a music tech company founded by her husband.

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