Lydia Laceby's Reviews > Arranged

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
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Jul 18, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star-must-read, canadian-chick-lit, chick-lit, canadian, contemporary-women-s-fiction

Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

I loved Catherine McKenzie's debut novel, Spin - which made it to my top 5 reads of 2010, and couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Arranged and I was not disappointed. McKenzie's latest novel explores the premise of a western woman seeking an arranged marriage, one based on friendship rather than love, and I thought the comparisons and insights throughout the novel were interesting and they definitely had me stopping to think at times. Arranged was fast paced, had an intriguing premise and I was drawn immediately into Anne’s world. Catherine McKenzie definitely has another winner on her hands!

I loved the Anne of Green Gables thread throughout. Having been a huge fan of the books and movies since I was a child, I giggled frequently and loved how Anne kept tying her romantic nature back to the story as well as the fun she poked at herself for being named after such an infamous character.

Anne’s character grabbed me right from the beginning of the novel. Even though she’s down on her luck in love, she realizes it and tries to pick herself up and move forward. She never seems to sit and bemoan her situation for long and realizes when she’s in a rut. She’s thoughtful, insightful and able to analyze her situation to try and figure a possible way out, even though her solution might seem a crazy idea to some, even to herself.

Although I wasn’t 100% sure of Jack, due to the nature of the arranged part of the marriage I think (not for me apparently), I liked him well enough, but part of me still wanted to be cautious. And for Anne to be cautious – that’s how much I cared about her character. I didn’t want to see her get hurt again. All the other characters were well drawn and likeable and I loved Anne’s relationships with them all. Their reactions at her sudden marriage seemed realistic and provided quite a few giggles as well as had me wondering what my friends and family would do in such a situation and what I would do if a friend of mine got hitched so suddenly.

Even though the premise might seem a little far fetched - or at least it did to me – McKenzie makes it seem plausible and not once did I think any part of the story was outrageous.

Can’t wait to see what else Catherine McKenzie has in store for us next!
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