My Little Pocketbooks: Review: The Reluctant Matchmaker   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The Reluctant Matchmaker

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Fiction
Paperback: 352 pages
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Source: Provided by the author for an honest review
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description
In her thought-provoking, uplifting new novel, Shobhan Bantwal vividly blends the nuances of contemporary Indian-American culture with an unconventional romance. . .
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. 
I think I have found a new favorite author.   Shobhan Bantwal writes Meena's story of finding a husband with humor and gives the reader an understanding of a the Indian culture without going over their heads.  Most books that deal with a culture that I am not familiar with take me about half of the book to get the flow and the understand several meanings of words, or phrases they choose to use.  But Shobhan writing is not like that at all.  She takes the reader by the hand and guides them though Indian slang, names of food and family without making you feel stupid at all.
Meena's story is my kinda story.  First, let me say that I am not in love with my Boss.  And second, I am not living at home.  (But I have been thinking about it.)  But Meena is single and successful and for a woman in her culture, she should be married.  With both feet firmly planted in the US and supported and surrounded with her family's Indian values, Meena tries to do the best she can in the dating world.  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me..."You're so pretty.  Why aren't you married yet?"  Anyways, this is not about me.
Shobhan Bantwal is like the Sophie Kinsella of the first and second generation Indian woman living in America.  This is really Bollywood in a book.  There is even a dance scene and all.
I really loved the supporting characters in this book as well.  Meena's bothers, co-workers, friends, cousins and dates are very well written.  I could see Shobhan creating a few books based off of them.  I would love to read about her younger cousins dating adventures as well.
I bet you are wondering why I didn't give it 5 stars.  It's the ending!  I love happily ever after.  I really do, but this one was just to quick and neat after so much conflict.  I would have loved to have more in that area.  I am so going to read Shobhan's other books for sure.   
I recommend this book to older teens and adults due to the very mild making out.
This book is number 31 in my Goodreads Challenge
This book is number 9 in my POC Challenge
Other books by Shobhan Bantwal

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