The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

Susanne’s Review:

When it comes to Business, it’s not always a Pleasure – even if you’re working with Loved Ones.

Asha and Cyrus went to the same High School.  At the time, Asha had had a huge crush on him little did she know that years later, they’d meet again, fall in love and start a company together, along with their best friend Jules.  

The idea being their tech startup is all Cyrus, the brains behind it Asha.  Jules is the glue that holds them together.  Cyrus is a big believer in what drives people and what they are looking for most in their lives.  In thinking of this, he comes up with the idea of a social network based on what rituals people are needing most in their lives, based on their interests, and connecting them with others around the world who are interested in the same.

It all happens at a place called, you guessed it “Utopia” – where the magic happens every day. 

While Asha is the one that codes an algorithm to do exactly that, it is because of Cyrus’ personality that their business is successful and it is he, who gets all of the attention.

Though their app “WAI” becomes a success, not everything works out quite as planned, leaving Asha out in the cold. 

There are plenty of lessons to be had here – regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace, discrimination, equality, partnership, and marriage, and whether or not it’s a good idea to keep those separate.

A truly intriguing premise, the idea of friends creating a tech company together immediately drew me in to “The Startup Wife” by Tahmima Anam.   What began out as an evenly paced, character-driven novel about close friends who actualize a dream, soon became an extremely slow burn where the characters took a back seat to the technical aspect of building a business.  Towards the end, however, the characters’ stories were once again front and center, with Asha and Cyrus leading the charge, which helped re-invest me in the storyline. 

If you work in the tech industry, as I do, you may find this book to include a few interesting tidbits about creating and beta-testing apps and the analysis of stats when the apps go live.  I admit to experiencing a bit of inner “geekdom” in a few of these moments!

A huge thank you to Mimi Chan at Goodreads, NetGalley, and Scribner for the arc.

Published on Goodreads on 1.29.21.

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