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Book Review: The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

This is a book that brought a smile to my face as I read it. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People is truly delightful and peopled with characters that are charming, funny and even, at times, wise. Mr Ali quickly becomes bored with retirement so he decides to open a marriage bureau, with the full support of his wife (who is fed up with him disturbing her household routines). Business is so busy he hires a local girl, Aruna, as his assistant. Together they arrange many successful matches, although Aruna herself seems to be doomed of ever marrying due to her family circumstances.

What follows reminds me a little of a Jane Austen novel, such is the detailed observations of humanity, but the story is very contemporary and the settings taste and smell of exotic India. I found myself getting wonderfully sidetracked by the vivid detail of traditional Indian life, ceremony and etiquette without ever losing interest in the main story. This is a debut novel from a writer with clear talent and I would expect this book to easily be the beginning of a very successful new series. This is a first-class novel and enchanting love story.

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