Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Synopsis: Mills Ali already has a life of her own and dreams of working for an Asian magazine. She has tonnes of friends and thinks she has it all, but her parents want to arrange a marriage for her that will kill any chance of her having the life she has built for herself. If she marries the man they have picked out for her, she will have to adopt the role of a dutiful and obedient wife who stays at home and has children to him. This might sound a bit Regency to her, and it horrifies her deeply, but what can she do to change her situation? Find a man of her own?
Review: Reading this immediately took me back to college where I first remembered writing a project on Asian culture, and was told about a recently married Asian woman who was willing to show me some of her dowry. I felt like the woman at the start of this novel, amazed at the amount of red on her clothing, hands, face etc and smiled at the humour the authors showed. Mills thinks she'll not be lucky enough for her parents to get her a decent man, she thinks they are more likely to find :
"some interbred third cousin with a monobrow and more overbite than Goofy."
What endeared me to this is the setting as Mills lives in Bradford, and as I am in England, so I could easily make the connection and understand how the character was feeling at the prospect of marriage to who she terms a Chi Chi the giant panda lookalike. Though mentioning Boy George and Marilyn Manson in one sentence worked for me in ways you can't imagine. What you as a reader notice is that Mills is a woman in her own right and has her own idea of how she wants to live her life. It is her parents who have other ideas of how they want her to spend her life. If she wanted to she could have her own business as she has a business head on her shoulders, and wants to rise above the stereotypical role originally meant for Asian women.
The cover art is beautiful complete with Mehndi inspired background.
The start of the story is highly funny - and recommended.
Her naughty family thinking they could get her married off to a man she doesn't know.
Final Thoughts: For me Rearranged by Ruth Saberton was the most unlikely novel to catch my attention this year, but the setting, Mills Ali character and the non-stop humor made this a definite 5 star review. I would recommend this to anyone who likes humor in their romance novels and some fun with their turkey and stuffing this Christmas.