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A woman lets her grandmother run her dating life, with disastrous consequences, in Lalli’s debut (originally published in the U.K. as The Arrangement).

Raina Anand isn’t exactly happy that she’s 29 and still single—but Raina’s grandmother is horrified. In her Indian immigrant community, a single granddaughter is a scandal. And so Raina finally agrees to let her nani set her up with a long list of eligible Indian bachelors, none of whom Raina actually likes. As her best friend, Shay, plans a wedding (that, in a terrible coincidence, is happening on Raina’s 30th birthday), the pressure is on for Raina to find a nice man—any nice man—and settle down. But Raina can’t let go of the one who got away, a dashing charmer named Dev who broke her heart with his inability to commit. Now that Dev’s back in the picture, but just as noncommittal as ever, Raina finds herself unable to stomach the endless list of bachelors. Eager to ease the pressure of being the perfect Indian granddaughter, Raina lets her nani believe she’s a lesbian. Now she won’t set Raina up with any men—but Raina’s little white lie threatens most of her relationships. Should Raina tell the truth even if she risks hurting her nani, her friends, her family, and the man she thinks she might be falling for? Less a romantic comedy than a romantic drama, Lalli’s debut deftly explores arranged marriage and Raina’s conflicting views of her culture and family. Even as she feels stifled by their expectations and pressure, she loves the strength of her community and how they always support one another through hard times. Raina’s desire to both please her family and stand up for herself is deeply relatable, and readers will cheer for her as she learns to take control of her life and make her own decisions.

A warm and refreshing look at cultural identity, unexpected romance, and unbreakable family bonds.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-451-49094-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2018


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