Book review: The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

What caught my attention to the book, apart from the very obvious- the title of the novel, was the hippy and colorful mandalas as the graphics of book and I knew it’s going to be a light-hearted yet an interesting read. I took me roughly around 2.5 hours of honest reading for three consecutive days to finish the book, though I would have loved to enjoy it a much longer because the book does leave you feeling relaxed.

So as the story suggest, the protagonist of novel, Leila Abid – A South Asian Muslim living the American dream yet willingly rooted by her tradition and culture. Her Indian parents think that she has come to a marriageable age (read: twenty-six) and start pestering her to get married and fulfill her “half deen.” As any loving, caring, devoted and deeply involved Indian parents, they try to arrange several meetings with many “nice South Asian men” but in vain as none of them live up to Leila’s expectation of her a page long list of traits and features (Smart, Handsome, Sexy, Attractive, Funny etc) that is thoroughly derived from her unconditional love for Bollywood. Then after much coaxing, they finally come into an arrangement where her parents give her three months to find her man, and if she isn’t able to, she will have to marry whoever her parents chooses.

What follows is a quest of funny, adventurous encounters. The book describes both the traditional as well as the modern form of online dating. The traditional being set up by the match-making aunties till taking matters into your hands and trying the new facade of “speed-dating”, which was quite informative! All the aspect of dating was well explored and one gets to have fun reading this. Leila’s awkward encounters with the guys leave one into split and at the same time thinking. With some Leila falls in love and some fall in love with her, yet the communion is not quite possible because a very important aspect is missed, yet as readers we, as readers, are hopeful till the very end that she might eventually find “the one.”

Web of words ‘s Perception: Throughout the book, any Indian reader is set to find this book 95% relatable. While reading it, I found the way the dialogues are written, its almost conversational, as if I’m speaking to my parents/friends. The phases that Leila goes through, the dilemma, the whirl of emotions is absolutely relatable. No matter how crazy it seems, and we might judge Leila of keeping a list of unrealistic qualities that she looks for in her husband, we all have been (or are :P) guilty of having in our desire of marrying the “perfect guy” straight from the Bollywood dream, as well.

Leila is modern, independent yet somewhere I felt that she was still immature. I feel she eventually developed through all these experiences to finally reveal herself the real reason why should one get married and in lieu also enlightened her readers. Apart from few semantics errors that I came across, the editing of the book was okay.

If you’re someone who needs to develop the habit of reading, it’s a quick and easy book to start with. Also, the book does leave you kinda satisfied with its ending. I definitely would recommend this book to all my twenty-something friends who are also going through the same “shaadi karlo” phase. It’s a fun read and a much-needed break when you’re not busy scheduling a meeting with your “the one.”

Thank you!

I hope you like my review. Do leave a feedback/your point of view and let me know about your perception of the book.


  • Shruti Dugar

    Shruti is a Copywriter & Editor. She specializes in writing about eCommerce, SaaS, Edtech & Marketing. She authored & self-published a book that is available on Kindle. Apart from reading for work, she spends most of her time reading underrated books, riding her bike to get the creativity flowing, and exploring veg restaurants.

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