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(Un)Arranged Marriage: 03/03/07
I can't remember why I added (Un)Arranged Marriage to my wishlist but I'm glad I did. The book is written in the style of the Adrian Mole or George Nicholson books except that Manjit (aka Manny), the protagonist, actually does something to improve his life beyond writing about how awful things are.
This short book (270 pages) covers in flashback Manny's upcoming arranged marriage, his abusive family, his conflicted feelings over being British and Punjabi and his desire for a better life. At first Manny seems no different than the typical British teen in one of these diary style books. His family is dysfunctional and he hates sharing his room but it's not until the middle of the book that the tone darkens and Manny's need to escape from his family takes on a new-found urgency.
Half of the book takes place in England and the other half takes place in India. While the English bits are glossed over a bit in their descriptions to focus more on the plot and character interactions, the India section comes alive with a wonderful attention to detail.