Published by Berkley on January 22nd 2019
Genres: Romance, New Adult
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One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it
Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn't mean she has to like it--or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina's side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she's ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn't know won't hurt her...
As Raina's life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother's dreams.
I was provided a review copy by Berkley, Penguin; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
‘The Matchmaker’s List’ is more than a romance about matchmaking. It is a story about family and tradition, and the responsibilities that come with those. It is about figuring out who you are and what you want to be while being okay with the fact that there will be people who don’t agree with your life choices.
❝Gay. Straight. Indian. Not Indian.❞ She moves closer to him. ❝Not everyone is brave enough to be themselves.❞
‘The Matchmaker’s List’ chronicles the life of Raina Anandas as she tries to balance the new, modern world of Canada, with the tradition and rituals of old world, India. With her 30th birthday on the horizon, Raina’s grandmother is worried that if Raina doesn’t marry soon, she never will.
❝You work, and work, and life is passing by. Men are passing by. Tell me, when is the right time? When will you be ready?❞
To put her grandmother at ease she agreed to allow her to set Raina up on dates. But the pressure to marry doesn’t ease because these dates are with,
❝men whose family, religion, background, values, and sometimes even astrology match your own. It is having parents who want their children to marry into the ‘culture’, and so they hurl them against a brick wall of blind dates until one finally sticks. It is arranged dating, really; an agreement to decide quickly whether you are in love.❞
With one bad encounter after another, Raina questions the wisdom of arranged marriages and wonders why she isn’t good enough as she is, and why she needs a man to complete her. These thoughts led her to make some questionable decisions. I am so glad, that the author showed the pain those decisions caused and showed us how Raina tried to redeem herself.
While I loved this story, I wasn’t crazy about the ending. I felt it too abrupt and left so much unsaid and questions unanswered. In reality, I just didn’t want it to end.
‘The Matchmaker’s List’ is a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking read, about the struggles of growing up in a family with strong opinions about right and wrong, and one that is heavily influenced by religion and tradition.