book cover of (Un)arranged Marriage

(Un)arranged Marriage

A novel by

A moving story of alienation and identity, (Un)arranged Marriage
follows teenager Manny as he struggles to maintain his links to his
family and live his own life.
The toilets in the motorway
service station at Leicester Forest East stank of disinfectant. But at
least they were warm compared to the biting wind that was kicking up
outside in the car park - where my two brothers Harry and Ranjit were
waiting for me. Waiting to take me to Derby, to a wedding--my
wedding. A wedding that I hadn't asked for, to a girl who I didn't

On the morning of his marriage, which also
happens to be the morning of his 17th birthday, Manny looks back on his rebellious teenage years.

From the age of 13 he has found that the values of the Leicester Punjabi community from which he comes have little relevance to him. He has nothing in common with his brothers or parents. Manny's older brothers appear to him to glory in their ignorance while his father is a hypocritical, violent drunk. His mother is a remote figure who appears only to ask what he wants to eat or to cry hysterically at his disobedience. Knowing that he is expected to follow the same path as his brothers into an arranged marriage at the age of seventeen and a blue collar job, Manny makes the decision to try to make himself the most unsuitable suitor possible, the bridegroom that no-one will choose for their daughter. Finally though, it is a family trip to India which irrevocably sets Manny's mind on the course he had always suspected that he would have to take.

Written in the first person, (Un)Arranged Marriage feels very much as if it is inspired by personal experience, if not of Manny's specific situation then of his environment. The characters inhabit an unsentimental, realistic world, a world where kids often don't try quite hard enough at school and families cannot bridge the huge generation gaps between them. Perhaps what is most striking about Manny is his complete alienation from the Punjabi culture which his family are trying so hard to preserve, and his overwhelming detachment is skillfully captured here. The culture that Manny inherited is completely eclipsed as he embraces the Western culture he finds everywhere outside his home and which offers him the choices he desperately wants. --Rachel Ediss

Genre: Children's Fiction

Used availability for Bali Rai's (Un)arranged Marriage

Hardback Editions

July 2003 : UK Hardback

Title: (Un)arranged Marriage
Author(s): Bali Rai
ISBN: 0-7531-6933-9 / 978-0-7531-6933-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: BDS titles not on BD and which cannot be assigned
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

June 2001 : USA Hardback

Title: Unarranged Marriage
Author(s): Bali Rai
ISBN: 0-385-60202-2 / 978-0-385-60202-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Children's Books (A Division of Random House Group)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2018 : UK Paperback

Title: (Un)arranged Marriage (The Originals)
Author(s): Bali Rai
ISBN: 0-241-34306-2 / 978-0-241-34306-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

May 2001 : UK Paperback

Title: (Un)arranged Marriage
Author(s): Bali Rai
ISBN: 0-552-54734-4 / 978-0-552-54734-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Audio Editions

December 2003 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: (Un)arranged Marriage
Author(s): Bali Rai
ISBN: 0-7531-1876-9 / 978-0-7531-1876-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: (Un)arranged Marriage
Author(s): Bali Rai
Publisher: RHCP Digital
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU