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So it’s Friday….a day typically seen as payday, the end of the work week and to some as…DATE NIGHT. *insert scream here* Yes, yes….for those of you out there that haven’t found Mr. or Mrs. Right yet, tonight could possibly be another break in your day to day schedule to take a chance on someone else who just might be “the one”. *sigh* A tedious task for even the most light hearted amongst us, imagine if only for a moment if it didn’t have to be that way. What if someone could put one and one together and it actually equal two? All you had to do was supply all the info about yourself and submit to a myriad of psychological tests and POOF….a few months later, your perfect match is by your side. Too good to be true? Perhaps…or maybe, given the right circumstances, it’s just what the “love” doctor ordered. Today’s book of choice is…
From the publisher…
Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can't seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she's engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it's actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.
Arranged marriage. Sounds like something from the Stone Age, right? Surprisingly (or not), it is something practiced in some cultures of the world to this day. Does it result in a fairytale happy ever after? Yes and no as Anne discovers on her journey of self discovery and what really happens when you let all the pieces fall.
This was my first time reading Ms. McKenzie’s work and I am happy to say that it WON’T be the last. I found the story very easy flowing with an approachable “heroine” (hey, she IS a heroine in my book despite her flaws and poor judgment….she gives her heart a chance even when she seemingly gave up on it and then STILL manages to put things back together when Humpty Dumpty falls off the proverbial wall!), an abundance of laughter (strip bingo, diving into a prearranged marriage, being named by your parent after Anne of Green Gable characters…) , and yet plausible steps and missteps along the way. One in our Western society would never imagine turning the reins over to someone else, let alone a company to choose our significant other….or would we? I mean look at all the online dating options, dot com sites and so on where all you do is submit your profile and POOF, matches appear. A semi-blind date is one thing but a marriage? Yikes! I’m not certain if put in the same situation I could go along with something like that…but then again, it would cut through so much of the drama before hand. *ponders* Anywho….
If you think you’ve heard the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you person in the sky, you’re wrong! There’s a twist, yes a twist, you won’t see coming that REALLY throws things for a loop. No really. It’s surprising that anyone makes it out unscathed and yet despite all that happens, the pieces of heart exposed are picked up, put back together and given another go. Like I said, I name Anne the heroine. The friends she makes along the way only add more color to this rainbow of a world from her best friend to her work fremeny, her interested boss to the psychiatrist that comes as a package deal with the potential arranged marriage; there is room to grow with and from each of them and grow Anne does (whether she wants to or not!).
In summary, a fascinating look at the dating world from the eyes of the forlorn with a heart full of wishes, some of which take flight and others crash and burn. What do we learn? It’s in the TRYING that we find our true selves and perhaps that “other half” that one day will make us the happiest “whole” version of ourselves. In the mean time, there’s no shame in playing the game because really, you never know if the next “I-just-met-you-and-this-is-crazy” situation may turn into your happily ever after. As for me, I had a WONDERFUL time and can’t wait to check out more of this author’s work. To the all fellow singles out there, good luck! To all the attached, good night!
Review copy received courtesy of Mary at William Morrow Paperbacks / HarperCollins Publishers. (THANKS!) For more information regarding this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to visit their official website, like their Facebook page, or follow along on Twitter. To discover more about author Catherine McKenzie, feel free to check out her site, like her Facebook page, or follow her Twitter feed. This book was released earlier this year and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as her latest release Forgotten makes its paperback debut October 16th, 2012!
Until next time…to everyone….happy reading!