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Summary and book reviews of For Matrimonial Purposes by Kavita Daswani

For Matrimonial Purposes

by Kavita Daswani

For Matrimonial Purposes
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2003, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 288 pages

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Book Summary

An unconventional heroine defies tradition by making a marriage between the strict customs of India and the wild freedoms of America to find her own happy ending.

Hilarious and heartwarming, For Matrimonial Purposes proves that while the search for love takes many forms, the heartbreak and exhilaration are universal. In a sensual whirl of silk and spices, Kavita Daswani takes us from Bombay to New York and back again - in what is sure to be one of the most welcomed debuts of the summer.

Unmarried at twenty-four - and with no prospects in sight - Anju is a great source of worry to her family. Despite the best efforts of relatives, fortune-tellers, and matchmakers to arrange a marriage, she can't seem to find a husband - or at least one she's willing to marry.

Quickly becoming a spinster by her culture's standards, she is eager to escape the community that views her as a failure. After pleading with her parents for permission, she boards a plane bound for the United States and a dream of a career. And although husband-hunting isn't any easier in New York City, at least she's got company

Chapter One

The normal religious marriage was and still is arranged by the parents of the couple, after much consultation, and the study of omens, horoscopes and auspicious physical characteristics. . . . While a husband should be at least twenty, a girl should be married immediately before puberty.
- A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India


My grandmother was married off two days shy of her tenth birthday.

My mother found a husband when she was twenty. I thus reckoned that if every generation increased by a decade the acceptable age for marriage, I should have become a wife by thirty.

But at thirty-three, I was nowhere close to being married. And it was this that brought much consternation to all, tainting the joy and inciting hitherto-suppressed family politics, at the wedding of my twenty-two-year-old cousin, Nina.

I was at a family wedding in Bombay, the city where I was born and had spent most of my life. My parents and two brothers still lived here, in the ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today

Daswani...can make readers shriek with laughter. Save this enchanting novel for an uncrowded beach.

Library Journal - Shirley N. Quan

Writing with dry wit and liberal doses of humor, Daswani goes back in time to follow Anju's search for matrimonial bliss from age 21, in the process offering insight into Indian culture and traditions as well as a behind-the-scenes peek at the fashion industry. Recommended for all fiction collections and essential for libraries serving Indian populations.

Kirkus Reviews

Appealing story, with a fine ear for dialogue and a tender wit an auspicious debut for Los Angeles-based fashion correspondent Daswani.

Reader Reviews

Anonymous

Funny, witty book.. all Indian girls, esp living in America can relate to all the episodes the character has to go through.. well written, and real!

christine

Kavita Daswani does a great job throughout this amazing tale. Being Asian, I can find myself relating to similar situations that Anju experiences. Anju is such an amazing character and ought to be admired! She's smart, funny, lovely, loving, and ...   Read More

anjali

Hi, I am 18 going on 19 this month!!!
The Book felt like scenes from my own life - teen life, and what to expect as i go on my 20's. Its what every Indian girl goes through. or will go through at some point in life. It prepares you for martimony.   Read More

angelin

an amazing book! i'm a 17 year old student who chose this book for my english cpt, and i loved it! you wanna know more about indian culture and marriage? read this book! its full of humour and truth. kavita daswani explores the intimate details of a ...   Read More

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