Friday, August 26, 2011

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

Last Saturday morning, while rocking my grandson to sleep for his morning nap, I began reading Farahad Zama's novel, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. The back cover billed it as a blend of Jane Austen and Alexander McCall Smith, so I thought it would be worth reading a few chapters, at least. Several hours later I was almost to the end of the book and found myself hoping that the author had written a sequel.

Forget Jane Austen - except for a female character who is sensible and hard-working and is clearly aware of where she fits into society - this book is much more akin to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, but instead of crimes and a detective agency, there are people looking for spouses and a match-maker (which might possibly remind one of Austen, I guess).

The novel takes place in India with Mr. Ali, a retired government worker, who starts a marriage bureau in order to have something to do. To his and his wife's surprise, the business becomes so successful that he has to hire a helper - a poor, but admirable girl who helps support her parents and sister with her earnings. Mr. Ali and his wife also have a son who gets into trouble protesting the government takeover of a small village. The novel is interesting and funny in places, but also gave me a glimpse of modern India.

Thankfully (for me), there are at least two more books in this series, and they're both on their way to me now.



Blogger Sherry said...

This book sounds great. I'm trying to keep my expectations low, but I think I will really enjoy this one.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Cindy Swanson said...

Sounds like something I would enjoy! One of my voice-over clients was a company in Mumbai, and over the years I got to know several of the young people who worked there.

Cindy @ Cindy's Book Club

10:10 AM  
Blogger Carol in Oregon said...

I'm on page 53, Laura, and I'm loving it.

Once again...thank you for a great recommendation!

12:30 PM  

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