(Un)arranged Marriage has ratings and 97 reviews. Kirsty said: This is the first book I’ve read for pleasure since I completed my 3rd year at univers. The young-adult novel (Un)Arranged Marriage is the first novel by the British- Indian author Bali Rai (born in Leicester, England). Buy (Un)arranged Marriage UK ed. by Bali Rai (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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Un arranged Marriage A novel by Bali Rai.

(un)arranged marriage

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 know. 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. marriagge

(Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai

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 knarranged 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.

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