Monday, January 3, 2011

Review: "Arranged" by Catherine McKenzie

Anne Blythe is content. She has a brand new book contract, a magazine job that she enjoys, and a loyal best friend. She has no problem finding a man, but unfortunately none of them want to stick around. As she watches her friends and colleagues meet people, fall in love, and get married, she starts to feel left out from the group. When she finds a mysterious business card for Blythe & Company lying in the street and it happens to belong to an discreet arranged marriage company, Anne figures that she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Enter Jack. He's handsome enough, a writer, and according to Blythe & Company, he's her perfect match. The two meet up and make the decision to marry, but there's more to Jack, and more to Blythe & Company, than first appears.

I really enjoyed this fun, quirky novel, and I found the subject matter especially interesting. Arranged marriage isn't prominent in North America, yet it is still present, and it is prevalent in other countries. People in North America often marry for love, yet we have one of the highest divorce rates around. It seems these days that people shed their spouses like they do clothing, like relationships are something that need regular upgrading. Arranged marriage seems to carry a stigma, as in the only people who do it are desperate or culturally obligated, but isn't it important to be friends with your spouse as well?

I liked Anne, our main character, and could understand why she would be willing to have a marriage arranged for her as those around her seemed to pair off. I didn't get as attatched to Jack. He seems to keep Anne at a distance and in doing so the reader remains distanced as well.

Arranged is another winner from Catherine McKenzie. It's light reading, but with enough substance to keep the reader interested and wanting more. I was able to connect with the character of Anne and the ending made me smile. I strongly recommend this to readers who enjoy women's fiction. Want to check it out for yourself? Browse inside Arranged here and check out the other stops on the HarperCollins Canada's Savvy Reader site here.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, The Canadian Book Challenge 4


  1. glad you liked it. i have it now and it's next on my list to read after the two i'm reading now. :)

  2. Thanks, Luanne. Glad you liked the book.

  3. Definitely sounds like an interesting premise! Arranged marriage does seem to carry a stigma in North America, but I don't find it that unusual... as you mentioned, it's important to be friends -- and when left to our own devices, it's not like we all choose well, anyway! :)

  4. An arranged marriage? Cooool. I must check this out.