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(Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai

(Un)arranged Marriage

by Bali Rai

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1104173,027 (3.64)2
"Harry and Ranjit were waiting for me - waiting to take me to a wedding. My wedding. A wedding that I hadn't asked for that I didn't want. To a girl I didn't know...If they had bothered to open their eyes, they would have seen me: seventeen, angry, upset but determined - determined to do my own thing, to choose my own path in life..." Set partly in the UK and partly in the Punjab region of India, this is a fresh, bitingly perceptive and totally up-to-the-minute look at one young man's fight to free himself from family expectations and to be himself, free to dance to his own tune.… (more)

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The story is about how Manny plans to get out of an arranged marriage to a girl he has never seen at the age of 17. His parents are lower-middle class Punjabi’s who have migrated to England and are completely uninterested in educating their children, only getting them all married at the age of 17 to girls or boys from India.

Manny goes to a government school and his best friend is black while his girlfriend is white. His father believes that mixing with anyone other than Asians is a no-no. At home he is beaten by his father. He also hates his second brother with whom he has to share a room.

Manny eventually goes to India with his family. They leave him there to learn the Indian way. He is ‘rescued’ by his Uncle, the black-sheep of the family. When he returns to England he plans his escape from his family. ( )
  dalzan | Apr 24, 2013 |
I can't remember why I added (Un)Arranged Marriage to my wishlist but I'm glad I did. The book is written in the style of the Adrian Mole or George Nicholson books except that Manjit (aka Manny), the protagonist, actually does something to improve his life beyond writing about how awful things are.

This short book (270 pages) covers in flashback Manny's upcoming arranged marriage, his abusive family, his conflicted feelings over being British and Punjabi and his desire for a better life. At first Manny seems no different than the typical British teen in one of these diary style books. His family is dysfunctional and he hates sharing his room but it's not until the middle of the book that the tone darkens and Manny's need to escape from his family takes on a new-found urgency.

Half of the book takes place in England and the other half takes place in India. While the English bits are glossed over a bit in their descriptions to focus more on the plot and character interactions, the India section comes alive with a wonderful attention to detail. ( )
  pussreboots | Apr 3, 2013 |
loved this ( )
  Damyanti | Aug 2, 2010 |
The book tells the story of a young Punjabi boy, living in Britain, who is strongly opposed to the marriage that his father has arranged for him. It looks at conflict across cultures and generations as well as addressing the universal theme of teenagers rebelling against his parents.

more @ http://toogood2read.blogspot.com/2006/04/unarranged-marriage-by-bali-rai.html
  iamyuva | Feb 9, 2007 |
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