Trade Paperback/236 pages
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". . . a sweet story about Indian-Americans, strong and still-intact ties to India."
". . .the main character holds a close resemblance to the author herself… Both have families that retained many cultural practices and traditions, such as a somewhat humorous approach to the use of toilet paper."
Sometimes during our fast-paced existence, there is value in reading an straightforward, conventional romance. Imaginary Men by Anjali Banerjee is one such novel. In fact, the main character holds a close resemblance to the author herself. Both were born in India but raised in North America by highly educated parents. Both have families that retained many cultural practices and traditions, such as a somewhat humorous approach to the use of toilet paper.
Imaginary Men revolves around twenty-nine year old Lina Ray who fabricates a fiancé during her sister’s traditional wedding in Kolkata, India. “Ah, Lina, you’re next, nah? Big Bengali wedding?” her aunt asks while introducing Lina to a hopeful groom who looks like “Pee-Wee Herman on Steroids.”
Escaping the wedding reception and pressures to marry from her family, Lina accidentally bumps into Raja, an Indian Prince carrying a lost cat who happens to look like the Hindu god Krishna. They meet again when Raja travels to San Francisco to seek her help in finding a wife for his brother. Lina, ironically, works for Lakshmi (The Goddess of Love) Matchmakers, where she specializes in “hooking up American-born Indian women with their princes.”
Although the romance and ending are obvious, Banerjee weaves a simple but interesting story around her Prince’s commitment to his widowed mother and the family business in India and Lina’s determination to continue her San Francisco lifestyle. The book is not a study of family life, but Banerjee does share a sweet story about Indian-Americans’ strong and still-intact ties to India.
Reviewer: Kate Padilla