Friday, July 06, 2012

Book Review: The Reluctant Matchmaker, by Shobhan Bantwal

Shobhan Bantwal is one of my favorite authors, so I was thrilled to hear that she has a new book out: The Reluctant Matchmaker. I’ve read several of Bantwal’s books already, and I love how they all depict contemporary Indian-American culture. They often deal with the conflict that many young-adult Indian-Americans face in achieving balance between their Indian culture, which encourages them to have a family-arranged and suitable Indian marriage, and their American culture, where young people expect immediate romance in their relationships and discourage family participation in the selection process.

In The Reluctant Matchmaker, Meena is a well-educated PR executive and modern career woman. However, she still has an Indian lifestyle by living with her parents -- who are very eager for her to find a highly successful Indian-American man and settle down. Meena has gone on several dates arranged by her family, but never seems to feel a connection with any of the young men she’s met. Then, one day, she steps off the elevator at work and collides with Prajay, the Indian-American owner of the company, whom she’s never met. Unfortunately, Prajay is over a foot taller than petite Meena, and the collision sends her crashing to the floor, spraining her ankle! Not a great way to begin their acquaintance… As they get to know each other, Meena discovers that she’s in love with Prajay. So, imagine her consternation when he asks her to help him find a bride! And, he insists, his future wife must be close to six feet tall. Meena is crushed knowing that she is far from Prajay’s ideal woman. Will Prajay come to his senses and realize that Meena is the girl for him? Or will Meena settle down with one of the other suitable men who are courting her?

The Reluctant Matchmaker has everything -- romance, humor, and an absorbing story! I loved Meena’s feisty personality, which was balanced by her love for her family and her culture. One of her brothers is also dealing with a romantic conundrum when he falls in love with a Muslim girl, and neither set of parents is happy about the relationship. And Meena’s great-aunt, called Akka, is the Indian Betty White! Her antics will charm you. Shobhan Bantwal’s writing is lively and colorful, guaranteeing an entertaining read. Visit her online at, where you’ll find information about her books, trailers, contests, photos, recipes, and more. "Like" her on Facebook at


  1. Great review -- thank you Susan

    Nikki Leigh

  2. Susan,
    As always, thank you so much for a wonderful review and for hosting me during my virtual tour. I appreciate your continued support.



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