When Anne Blythe gets dumped yet again, she’s even more worried about ever getting married and starting a family. All around her, her friends and family are getting engaged, married, and having kids, while Anne just keeps getting dumped. But when she stumbles upon a card on the street, with the words ‘Arrangements made’ on it, she decides to call them and see what they’re about.
Instead of being a dating service, Anne is shocked to learn that the company is an arranged marriage service. When her best friend announces her engagement, Anne decides to give this unconventional, old-fashioned route a try. Soon she’s flying off to a Mexican resort to meet Jack, her to-be husband.
Everything seems to be working out great as Anne marries Jack, but then she realises that there are things about Jack, and herself, that she never knew at all.
Before reading this book, I was a bit wary of the concept. I come from a culture of arranged marriages and am well-aware of how they’re mocked and ridiculed in mainstream media. But the truth remains, arranged marriages are how a huge percentage of the world population get married, and its still a popular method used today. But I was actually pleasantly surprised when I started reading it, and realised the story wasn’t mocking at all, but understanding.
Anne was a wonderful character, who happened to have been named after one of literature’s most beloved characters, Anne of Green Gables. She has a good job, great friends, and is on her way to becoming a published author. Yet she still feels something is missing in her life: someone special to share it with. I liked the fact that Anne’s desire for a husband wasn’t treated with disdain; Anne is an independent and ambitious woman who doesn’t need a husband to make her happy, but still wants someone by her side.
This book made me feel like I was watching a rom-com movie, and as the story raced towards THE WEDDING between Anne and Jack (who she had never met or seen), I kept thinking that something dramatic would come up before the wedding, because that’s what usually happens. But instead, the wedding came and went, and the problems arose afterwards, demonstrating that no relationship is ever perfect, no matter how perfect you think the other person is.
The only thing that bugged me was the beginning of the story, which started off very quickly. There wasn’t a lot of buildup to Anne finding the card for the company; I would have enjoying getting to know her character a little more.
But other than that, Arranged is a heart-warming story about love, relationships, and marriage that will be sure to make you smile and laugh with Anne.
So for that: 4/5.
Thanks for reading,