When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Review: This is a novel that I was curious to discover! The subject itself is very interesting with arranged marriages, as well as the mix with the Hindu culture. It’s something that really made me want to know more.

In terms of the form, the narrative stands between the point of view of Dimple and Rishi, some sometimes longer than others but which allow us to easily see the state of mind of the two characters (which was really interesting for the reader). One thing embarrassed me a little bit and it’s the use of the tense for the verbs in the French translation. I don’t really have a good comparison in English but it was complicated for me there. With a change, the action would have been a little more felt and the pace a little clearer during the chapters. But it’s a personal feeling. It took me a while to get used to this choice.

Apart from that, we discover Dimple, an Indian girl determined to ignore traditions. Her parents have a very specific purpose and that is to marry her with a suitable Indian and an arranged marriage could be perfectly suitable. Yet Dimple does not want any of this, she wants independence, she wants to work, and she wants to build her own life. However, the trap closes on her when, for summer school, she realizes that the promised guy is present and that he does not seem at all disturbed by this union.

I liked this story, we understand perfectly the aspirations of Dimple and her desire to be more. Rishi is more traditionalist, but he will eventually evolve and change in contact with the young woman. He will understand that nothing is really simple, that it is sometimes necessary to compromise, and above all to understand and accept the other as he/she is. Their exchanges were always a treat to follow and I enjoyed discovering their story. The family also has a prominent place in the novel and I also enjoyed seeing their interactions, as well as immersions in Hindu culture.

It was a very cute novel and fun to discover for a light reading.