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Marrying Anita

2.91 of 5 stars 2.91  ·  rating details  ·  499 ratings  ·  119 reviews
After three years of dating, Anita Jain finally got fed up with the New York singles scene. As her Indian parents continued to pressure her to find a mate, Jain couldn't help asking herself the question: is arranged marriage really any worse than Craigslist? Full of romantic chance encounters, nosy relatives, and dozens of potential husbands, "Marrying Anita" is a refreshi...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 839)
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Kathryn
Hard to determine stars to give this book; the writing style is pretty good, the beginning of the book makes some great observations--but it all seems very pointless in the end!)

I read the first quarter of the book avidly, eagerly, enjoying the experience. The next quarter was somewhat less exciting. And then, about half way through, I was so fed up with Anita that I skimmed the next few chapters and went straight to the Epilogue (it's a mark of how infuriating this book became because I general...more
Elisha Condie
I heard this author interviewed on NPR, and thought her book sounded interesting. She is a 30-something woman, with Indian parents, who was born in America. After a succesful career and living all over the world, she realizes how lonely she is and wants to be married. So she moves to India in the hopes of finding a nice Indian guy. It's the story of her first year there. And I didn't love it. I wanted to. It was interesting to some degree, and she was so funny and nice on the radio, but her book...more
Kathy
This rose above the fray of standard chick lit a few times - I have found myself ruminating on a few passages. Namely, when her parents try to help and are surprised at just how baffling the search for another can be when the woman looking has so much to recommend for herself; her dad saying "we love you, whatever you've become"; and the poetry of realizing that just as certain groups have hundreds of names for snow or rain, there can also be hundreds of names for lonely.
Aditi Prabhu
The first part of this book extends on the NY Magazine article the author published a few years earlier. In my view, this section resonates pitch-perfectly with the anxieties and confusion of many in the author's demographic cohort (e.g., me). Her observations are very insightful and well articulated, and the book is worth reading for this alone.

The author's descriptions of her actual escapades are less compelling. First off, I found it difficult to root for someone desperately seeking a husband...more
Pam
I found this book to be pretty disappointing. Like others have commented - I kept waiting for the part where something substantial happens. I also could never understand who Anita was really looking for - and I kept waiting for her to outgrow a lifestyle that seemed to be doing nothing for her - but she seemed very attached to and proud of her drinking and partying and casual liaisons. I hope everyone has had some time in their lives when they let loose and tried things simply for the hedonistic...more
E.d.
Sep 05, 2008 E.d. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hindustaniphiles
Recommended to E.d. by: manateestarz
I learned that India is not the tradition bound society it once was. I enjoyed learning about the new India but Jain didn't do a great job of making herself into an interesting character. I found her writing compelling enough to finish the book but it lacked a fascinating main character. Some of the editing was sloppy. My edition has a few sentences where words seem to be missing. This book was more like a long newspaper article. It does open the eyes of the western reader to realize that cosmop...more
Sasha
"You just seem to pick the wrong guy" is the story of Jain's life..and she continues to do so throughout this novel. I kept wishing that she had someone there to help guide her from making the same mistakes over and over again. There were parts that I was cringing because I knew what was going to occur before I read it on the page. I know I made the same mistakes in my 20s spending time with men who were not worth my time but I can not claim that I see marriage in modern times beneficial to wome...more
Pam
I bought this book a while ago, I think because it seemed like a fun topic -- one woman's truthful tale of traveling to India to find a husband (even by arrangement if necessary). However, most of it seemed rather shallow, although it was certainly realistic. The author writes only of her incessant search for love, which I found rather self-absorbed. And after all that, she doesn't even find a husband by the end of the book! On the other hand, she is refreshingly honest about her own perceived s...more
The Tick
A very shallow book that frequently veered off-topic.
Elevate Difference
In the interest of full disclosure, I am half South Asian on my father’s side. That being said, I was a more than just a little intrigued when I read a New York Times review of Anita Jain’s memoir in which she describes her experiences seeking a love match via the ancient tradition of the arranged marriage.

As the reader learns in the first few chapters of the novel, Jain, who was raised by parents who emigrated from India to California in the '60s, is all too familiar with American style dating....more
Meneesha Govender
She's a successful journalist whose work has taken her to many countries. She was educated at Harvard University. She is a woman who has the world at her feet - or so it seems.

At 33, Anita, an Indian-American woman living in New York, is at that stage in her life where she really wants to meet the man of her dreams, sail off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

But her search for a suitable boyfriend, never mind suitable husband, is more difficult than she expects.

Having grown up in Ameri...more
Tamara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
Jain's writing was like a coherent, analytical treatise straight from the inner workings of my mind. I so enjoyed reading her heartfelt thoughts on dating, marriage, and the failures of Western courtship, her vivid descriptions of the new India, and the sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying but always touching encounters with American and Indian paramours. My only gripes were that she threw too many $20 words into the mix and that she failed to examine why she fell into the same old dating patte...more
DMD
I decided to read this book based on somewhat positive media reviews. I overlooked the cover and picked it up from the library. This book begins as a bad version of Sex and the City where after some dating antics that don't work out, Anita just starts bawling during a picnic with friends in couples and decides to move to India to find a man. Her commentary about India is rather generalized and you aren't sure if she fact checked anything or is just making sweeping statements to awe her readers w...more
Shana
This morning I finished reading Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India, by Anita Jain. In this book, Jain moves from New York City to Delhi in hopes of finding love.

As a Harvard-educated woman who grew up in the US and has lived around the world working as a journalist, Jain is an independent and not quite traditional Indian woman. After multiple failures to meet appropriate men in New York City, she decides to move to India in hopes of improving her love life and finding the right ma...more
Emily Wortman-wunder
The most interesting part of this book, for me, was the close-up, semi-insider's view of new India (a world I will never, ever, ever, ever see, I realized several times as I read--I don't possess the right personality). Perched on Anita Jain's shoulder, we're inducted into parties, clubs, exclusive jaunts to the countryside, not to mention her struggles to secure a decent apartment as a single woman. I love that she gives us price tags (she spends $18.20 a month for a cook!) The ostensible subje...more
D.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsten
A U.S.-born, Harvard-educated woman returns to her parents' native India to try to find a husband. Jain is a great writer and this book is fun. She does a great job explaining the more complicated pieces of Indian society, such as the caste system. I particularly enjoyed her comparison of the old India - a third-world country with strict class/caste rules and repression of women - and the New India, a technology-driven (think outsourcing) place where women are really coming into their own. The o...more
Rukshana
Fun, lighthearted, quick read. Kind of like non-fiction chick-lit. I found Jain to be fairly class- and gender- conscious. Her commentary, although not earth-shattering, was smart and funny. She doesn’t really find love by the end of the book, but then I guess that would be too tight and neat of an ending. I am curious about where she is now.

I liked the fact that she stayed in New Delhi after her one-year quest – it made the relocation and story much more genuine, not just something she did so...more
Adrienne
Unabashedly honest, Anita Jain tells the story of her life--arguably the hardest story to tell with candor and grace. If the premise of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell holds even a smidgen of truth, Ms. Jain appears to have born on the wrong side of India's youth divide--too old for the youth looking for love in India and yet still feeling like India was home, if only for a season in her life. Others have written, "What was the point of the book?" This, to me, seems like a very romance-novel point...more
Catherine
Aug 23, 2008 Catherine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in modern day India
Shelves: book-club
Anita Jain lived and worked in Singapore, Mexico City and London prior to winding up in New York in her early thirties. After experimenting with the dating scene, unsuccessfully, for three years in New York, Jain decides to shift her focus toward her parents' culture by moving to Delhi to explore the possibility of an arranged marriage.

If you're looking for a book about dating, love and fairy tale endings, this is not the book for you. Jain does go into detail about her dating adventures in Delh...more
DeAnna
I went to Junior High with Anita and we were pretty good friends for the 2 years there. I was excited to find out what she has been up to and the book brought back memories of her and her folks. I agree with other folks that the writing style is good, but the plot doesn't really move enough.

I thought it was a good effort for a first book. I learned quite a bit about India and how marriage is changing. I have other Indian friends that have been in semi-arranged marriages, so it is neat to have t...more
Rasee
Jul 27, 2008 Rasee rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foreigners interested in learning more about India today.
When I picked this book up and read the first few pages I had high hopes for it. I thought it would be a funny but honest look at Indian marriages and the strange position modern Indian women are put in, being pressured into an arranged marriage while trying to find a suitable husband on their own. This book had a more "documentary" feel to it, which was enlightening at times, but mostly really boring.

Anita moves from NYC to Delhi to find a husband. She parties, meets random men (most bad for he...more
Hima Dasika
When I first read this book I put it down half way through and did not pick it up for another 4 to 5 months cause I thought the book was boring. I thought it was boring because I was excited to learn about the changes in "New India" and I found that the author kept writing about the same experiences over and over again - very similar experiences to the Western world. I am really happy that I picked it back up though because I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed the book. As a single 3...more
Bev
Aug 21, 2008 Bev rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers
This is a wonderfully honest and sharply written book about modern relationships. Anita Jain is a journalist who got sick of traveling around the world and sick of trying to date in New York City (big surprise about the later issue). So she moves to New Delhi and enlists her father and the Internet to seek an arranged marriage. (It makes a lot more sense when she explains it.)
The story is full of strange courtships in a complex and rapidly changing country and she confronts them all with cynicis...more
L'aura
Oct 18, 2008 L'aura rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People curious about Indian marriage
Recommended to L'aura by: Book club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rushika
The byline is inaccurate for sure!!! "New India"... New, maybe from the perspective of a second-generation immigrant, but as a reader who's part of the generation that grew up through the economic boom of the nineties, the description lacked freshness to me. The changes are indeed all cosmetic... Not just the hinterland, even the "Tier-II" cities lack any ground-breaking change that may be expected of the New India in question...
The premise was doubtless interesting. And as massacred English is...more
Clare Smith
An enjoyable peep into the modern day dilemma of balancing the fun of sexual freedom with the need for human companionship. The added aspect of the cultural expectations gave the book a point of difference that I enjoyed. Having recently spent time in Dehli it was a delight to relive the vibrancy of the city through this authors experiences
Stephanie
I picked up this book because I'd read a brief review of it and the topic sounded interesting. The author writes about her experiences dating in the west (the U.S. and Europe) before moving to India to try her hand at the concept of an arranged marriage. Her parents immigrated from India but the author was born in California and though I would assume she would have a wealth of understanding for the experience of not quite belonging anywhere, she doesn't address this much. She does touch on it, a...more
Seema
Although it was almost like seeing a future and somewhat depressing image of myself, Jain keeps the story of her search for a husband lighthearted and without much bitterness or anger. Anita seems to have placed the stress of finding a life partner on herself, a job usually reserved for Indian parents, and after the typical disastrous dating experiences in cities all over the world, Jain moves to India to find her match.

Through stories that enlighten the reader about the globalization of India'...more
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Marrying Anita

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“Jab tumhara time ayega, ladka bhi mil jayega. (Hindi for 'A boy will come when it's your time to find him.")” 0 likes
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