Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal

I just stumbled upon this book when I was browsing and I'm glad I did.  It was a really fun and easy read.  In the acknowledgments the author says her goal is to write books that read like a Bollywood film, and I think she's accomplished this goal nicely.
This one tells the story of Meena, the 31 year old daughter of immigrants to New Jersey from India whose somewhat conservative parents and aunts think she's running out of time to marry.  She is working in a relatively new job as a PR person for a software company owned by two Indian men and where about 80 percent of the workforce is also from India (many of them young men on temporary work visas who express interest in Meena but she has no interest in marrying someone to provide him with a green card).
About 8 months into her job she first meets one of the co-owners, Prajay, who is usually based out of Virginia.  And she meets him in grand style - as the barely five foot, 85 pound Meena quickly exits an elevator, she's literally bowled over by the 6 foot 8 Prajay resulting in a severely sprained ankle.  His care for her after the accident makes her fall in love with him.  But just as she thinks something might happen, he hires her as a personal consultant - to help him find a tall bride through personal adds.  That doesn't mean her family and co-workers don't suspect something else is going on.
Most of the book deals with Meena's unreturned love, Prajay's ignorance of her feelings and Meena's disastrous efforts to find other men instead.  But, in true Bollywood style, the story reaches a predictable yet happy ending.
Bantwal's writing is fluid, humorous and engaging.   I'm definitely going to seek out her other books.

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