27 Nov 2013

Review: Rearranged by Ruth Saberton and Sofia Latif

Amazon Description: What does a young woman from Bradford do to avoid marrying someone in Pakistan she has never met? A wonderfully energetic and infectious romcom (romantic comedy) on the topical subject of arranged marriage.
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From the opening chapter:
My nickname is no coincidence. I was rebranded as Mills after my parents caught me devouring a Mills and Boon novel instead of the intellectual material they thought I was reading for my A-Levels.
I want what most girls want. I want to have my wedding cake and gobble it, too. I want the whole works – the dress, the confetti, the honeymoon and the outrageously attractive groom who’s crazy about me. I want a gorgeous husband that I’m in love with.
What’s wrong with that?
The problem is that I’m not in charge of the search for him.
Find my own husband? Are you kidding?
‘Love? No such thing! Love comes after marriage,’ say all my elders. Yak yak yak, until my ears are practically bleeding. Marriage, they say, is a tradition. Almost all the parents I know have taken their son’s or daughter’s marriage into their own hands, because that’s just what happened to them, and to their parents too. No one in our family has ever denied their parents’ wishes. Mummy-ji and Daddy-ji had an arranged marriage when they were really young. I think that mum was only about seventeen and dad couldn’t have been more than twenty, and of course it all worked out brilliantly, which is great news for them but more down to luck than judgment if you ask me. Not that you could ever convince them of that.
I don’t think I could take the emotional pressure if I don’t ‘see reason’ and agree to their choice. My parents are fantastic. Not fanatics, dictators or control freaks, and all they want for me is my happiness. They see themselves as wholly responsible for this, and if I go against their wishes they’ll be failures and bad parents in the eyes of our community....

My review
I started reading this book with absolutely no idea what it was about. Ever since I got my Kindle, this is how I tend to read. I download books (either those that are kindly donated by the author in lieu of an honest review or those that I've chosen to purchase myself) and then I forget what they're about because it was so long ago that I downloaded them in the first place. I'm sure I'm not alone in this but it usually ends up being a rather nice surprise. I can honestly say that this is what happened with Rearranged. 
It took a couple of chapters until I was really quite taken with it, but when that did happen, I found it such a delightful book to read!
I know absolutely nothing about Pakistani customs, and therefore found this to be quite a breath of fresh air. It was a delight to finally learn about what really happens in British / Pakistani households. Not only that, but it is written so beautifully with such effective comedic timing that I often found myself giggling out loud. I also found myself reaching for the tissues too.
I had a few issues not understanding many of the Pakistani words and could have done with a dictionary on hand but other than that, this is a wonderful read that I would recommend to everyone that loves a good chick lit story. A real feel good read!
Review by Suzy Turner

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