Book Review: The Reluctant Matchmaker

The Reluctant MatchmakerThe Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: June 26, 2012
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Meena Shenoy is a 31 year old career woman. One day she literally runs into her boss, Prajay Nayak, for the first time and ends up with a severely sprained ankle. After Prajay shows his tender side in caring for her, she starts to fall for him. Then Prajay makes a surprising request – he wants Meena to help him find a suitable wife. He offers to pay her handsomely for being his “marriage consultant.” Meena accepts his offer even though her heart is breaking.

In the Author’s Note, Shobhan Bantwal writes that she loves “to write stories that entertain and educate my readers, women’s fiction with romantic elements and that reflect my ethnic Indian culture, what I call Bollywood in a Book.” I think Ms. Bantwal has done exactly what she set out to do with The Reluctant Matchmaker. So much of the Indian fiction I read is super serious and tragic. I love it but it was also fun to read Indian chick-lit for a change. Meena reminded me a little of Bridget Jones (in a good way!). Meena’s community is a little more liberal than in some of the other books I’ve read but still way more conservative than mainstream society.

The main obstacle to Meena and Prajay having a relationship is their height difference. Meena is only five feet tall. I don’t think it’s ever stated how tall Prajay is but he’s described as a giant and says that he wants his future wife to be at least six feet tall. He tells Meena that he could never date her because she is too tiny and he would crush her. I found this really funny because my husband is six feet, seven inches tall – a full fifteen inches taller than me. His height has never been an issue! I think height is a big deal in Meena’s culture though because she talked often about how being so tiny was a disadvantage to finding a husband.

The Reluctant Matchmaker was a really fun read – I highly recommend it to fans of women’s fiction.

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(I received this book courtesy of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.)

  • rhapsodyinbooks

    How interesting about the height thing in Indian culture. As it happens, I am listening to a book in which one of the characters is 6’7″ – Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George. The 6’7″ character is a jerk, and I get the impression his height plays a role in that (along with other of his characteristics, which is something I don’t like so far about the book!)