Follow Here To Purchase The Reluctant Matchmaker

Author: Shobhan Bantwal

ISBN: 978-0-7582-5885-4

 (Reviewed from an Advance Uncorrected Proof)

Once again  Shobhan Bantwal has created unforgettable characters with her recent tome The Reluctant Matchmaker. From the very first sentence you are hooked, as she introduces her protagonist, Meena Sheney,  a petite, lively  young professional employed in the marketing and public relations field. 

Meena is a second generation immigrant of  Konkani/ Hindu origin, who is torn between her conservative matchmaking family and the liberated American dating games. She falls in love with her gentle giant of a boss but he has other intentions for her and  engages her to be his matchmaker to find him a suitable "tall" and pretty Hindu/Konkani girl. He does not quite understand the "magnetic undercurrents" that electrify Meena and himself.

To retaliate, Meena dates a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat), a  jealous person, as well as another gentleman , who becomes a very special friend.

Bantwal plays the matchmaking game very cleverly, respecting the Konkani customs and tearing down prejudices. And she is very liberal with her portrayal of a gay couple and relationships between Hindus and Muslims.

In her lively banter,  Bantwal  introduces the readers to Meena's entire family. We feel as if you we are having tea with  friends and we notice how Meena has a strong sense of family life as they bond together despite their old fashioned ideas about arranged marriages.

Towards the end of the yarn a very special character is introduced,  her  aunt Akka who becomes very friendly with Meena, interpreting her entire range of emotions of love, the highs and lows of expectations and disappointments. 

In an intelligent manner readers are familiarized  with the Desi culture, its customs, food, spices and celebrations.

Describing her story as "Bollywood in a Book, " Bantwal has succeeded in entertaining and teaching her readers about her very special culture.

Bantwal is also a believer of "karma," fate or destiny- a mystical word that comes from her Indian/Hindu heritage.  Her heroine is anxious to seek her own destiny. But little does she know that her Karma had other intentions for her.

Shobhan Bantwall is the prolific  author of 5 other books with a more serious undertone. She has published The Dowry Bride, The Forbidden Daughter, The Sari Shop Widow, The Unexpected Son,  and The Full Moon Bride.

The ideas for her books are generally sparked by her interest in women's social issues, especially South Asian women. While subjects like dowry and female feticide are rather dark, they have always fascinated her because they become convenient tools of evil for certain people.

She states on her web page that most Indian writers pen  literary novels that are beautiful but don’t always reach large segments of the reading public - those readers who want to learn about other cultures, but want to be entertained at the same time, with stories that have romance, mystery, pathos, and humor. She wants to give those readers something to sink their teeth into.

She states that she was probably destined to write them. She firmly believes  in destiny, fate, karma, kismet, whatever its name is. And she also has tremendous faith in astrology and horoscopes.

The Reluctant Matchmaker is a departure from her more serious subjects, however  it is a very entertaining and  easy read. A real page turner!  

Follow Here To Purchase The Reluctant Matchmaker