Author: Shobhan Bantwal
Publish Date: June 26, 2012
Source: Virtual Author Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
- You like a good love story!
From Goodreads.com: "At thirty-one, Meena Shenoy has a fulfilling career at a New Jersey high-tech firm. Not that it impresses her mother and aunts, who make dire predictions about her ticking biological clock. Men are drawn to Meena’s dainty looks and she dates regularly, but hasn’t met someone who really intrigues her. Someone professional, ambitious, confident, caring. Someone like her new boss, Prajay Nayak.
Just as Meena’s thoughts turn to romance, Prajay makes an astonishing request. He wants her to craft a personal ad that will help him find a suitable wife: a statuesque, sophisticated Indian-American woman who will complement his striking height.
Despite her attraction to Prajay and the complications of balancing work and her “marriage consultant” role, Meena can’t refuse the generous fee. And as her family is thrown into turmoil by her brother’s relationship with a Muslim woman, Meena comes to surprising realizations about love, tradition, and the sacrifices she will—and won’t—make for the sake of both."
My Two Cents:
This was a pretty good story. I love stories about people whose traditions are unfamiliar from my own. I'm definitely not familiar with arranged marriages at all. I've only met one person that was in an arranged marriage (she's Indian actually, like Meena in the book) and her arranged marriage has worked perfectly. She's been married for several decades! It's pretty amazing! Anyhow, I liked learning about how Indian- Americans may try to set something like an arranged marriage up from right her in the United States!
Meena is straddling the line between the traditions of her Indian family and her all-American setting. When her boss, Prajay, asks her to do her the favor of helping sift through responses to his matrimonial ad, she's kind of taken aback. I did think that it was sort of strange that Prajay would be willing to ask such an intimate favor of his co-worker. He mentions that it was because Meena was from the same sort of background but it still seemed like sort of a crazy thing to ask your co-worker to do. I really did not get the motivation behind that.
I also did not get why Meena liked Pranay so much. He seems to be really obsessed with a particular look that Meena does not fit in at all. He's very blatant about it. Also, if I were Meena, I would have been way more offended in having to help Prajay look for a wife. I would have been kind of turned off by both of those things so I had a really hard time buying into the attraction until the end of the book.
Meena herself is a good character. I loved exploring how she's trying to make her family happy while staying true to herself. I think that can be really hard to do when your parents have a completely different idea of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.
This book is definitely more focused on the characters instead of the setting, which works very well for this sort of book where you really need room to fully explore the character. However, I must mention that I get a kick out of any book that shows a sliver of a setting that I'm familiar with. Meena goes on a business trip to the DC area. I loved hearing the parts about Akka, Meena's aunt, doing some of the great sightseeing that we have here.
Bottom line: This is a pretty good story!