First book : The marriage bureau for rich people / Faraha Zama Highly recommended Rated : 7.5

This book, a debut novel by Zama, was considered a fun way to start our year. The setting is Vizag, India where the author was born. The book introduced us to Indian wedding customs, arranged marriages, matchmaking, and expectations from relationships based on social ranking and the caste system so influential in Indian life. The story remains light hearted, even when dealing with the tragedies and mysteries that beset Mr Ali’s often melancholy secretary Aruna, and his son, woven around the lives of his many customers. Many themes and subjects are covered simply and lightly, but also with sufficient depth to hold the reader’s interest. All characters are endearing, sights and sounds of India are charmingly described, vivid, delightful and completely enticing and affectionately told.