Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 390 (Paperback)
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Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.
After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company's success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?
A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all
Arranged is full of surprises. While there are moments of laughter, banter, and wit, Ms. McKenzie manages to create a thought-provoking story with few clichés. Anne is quirky and self-reflective. We see a few side characters, but Anne is the star of this story. I found myself identifying with her plight despite the fact that we nothing in common. The plot is fantastic and unpredictable. The thought of an arranged marriage in this culture and times seems rather unbelievable and I expected some quirky fun. Boy was I in for a surprise. Somehow the conundrum of whether to participate in the service truly seemed like a difficult decision. Ms. McKenzie did a great job making everything believable...and normal. It's not the story that I expected, but I'm glad because it was so much better.
This is a story of self-reflection, going against the grain, and of course...romance. If you love getting drawn into books with unique plots, Ms. McKenzie is a great author for you.
Have you read this one? I read Spin first and I found that I surprisingly enjoyed it. I got the same feeling from this one. I'm curious enough to read it but not sure what to expect. Any books make you feel that way about?