'The Reluctant Matchmaker'
Author: Shobhan Bantwal
Published: Kensington; June 2012
Genre: Indian chick-lit?
Source: Virtual Author Book Tours
Synopsis: 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.
My Take: I am going to keep this review short because this book clearly didn't work for me. Normally, I love books set in India, or with an Indian narrator. I. I just love the more exotic flair! So when introduced to Shobhan Bantwal's latest novel, The Reluctant Matchmaker, I eagerly jumped at the chance to read another book with an Indian narrator. Yet for some reason the narrator and I just didn't click.
Meena is our leading lady and she has a lot going for her. She has a great new job in a cool industry. Yet, even though she makes a lot of money and is 31 she lives at home because that is what she is supposed to do or she doesn't want to push herself (I could never quite figure it out). Then at work she is all nervous to meet her new boss and she runs right into him and sprains her foot. Seriously? She naturally 'falls' for him instantly but he doesn't. Instead, as the title suggests, he wants her to become his matchmaker because they have a lot of common interests. So, you have a boss who only sees you as a menial worker who will pay you extra to work all night and find him a soul mate? And, you take it? I don't know, this book just constantly rubbed me the wrong way. It made me think that perhaps I was missing something because I thought everything was a sexist affront so I had to stop reading it about two-thirds in which isn't what you want.
Don't just take my word for it! For more opinions on this book, visit the Virtual Author Book Tours Page for more people participating in this book tour.
Cover Lust: I do love this cover! Looking at the woman through all the doors is very mysterious.