Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Release: The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

One of the reasons that I choose to read review copies of books is that I can agree to read ones that are not typical books that I would select to purchase. Though I read a fair number of novels set in India, I probably would not have picked up Farahad Zama's The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. I am glad to have been able to read this book after all.

This is a simple book with a simple premise. Mr. Ali, a Muslim Indian living in a coastal city, is bored in his retirement and so he opens a marriage bureau in his home. He has a kind and intelligent wife and an activist son with whom he clashes on a regular basis. When business picks up, he hires a young woman, Aruna, to be his assistant who has her own issues to overcome before she can get married. This book uses the work of the bureau to expose the current courting and wedding traditions of both Muslims and Hindus in India.

For all of this book's simplicity, there was much to learn from it. There were discussions of caste, religion, diet and social issues. It was really quite fascinating and the plots in the book all highlight different issues for the unmarried of India. There were a few things that I hoped would be explained to a higher extent and I will probably search for more books on these same topics. This book was a pleasant introduction to a world so different from our own.

Happy in a love marriage,

Buy The Marriage Bureau for Rich People on Amazon or find it at your local library.


  1. I got e-mailed about this one, and it sounded really interesting (but I'm saying no to all review copies right now). I'm glad you reviewed it! I'll have to check it out from my library.

  2. I have to say the title is interesting. And this sounds like a book I would have skipped until I read your review. Great job!

  3. This does sound like a good book to introduce me to India customs. Thanks for that good review, Kristen.

  4. All - I hope you do try it out. It's a very accessible way to learn so much. I can't go around recommending A Suitable Boy (1500 pages) to everyone! This one is only about 300 pages.