Author: Halima Khatun
Publisher: Hayat House
Winner of the 2021 Bookbrunch Selfie Award for Best Adult Fiction. Meet the Bengali Bridget Jones... If you like British chick lit books with strong women of colour, then this is for you. What the press are saying about The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage: “Rebranding arranged marriages”, BBC Asian Network “Halima Khatun decided to write a book because nobody was talking. More specifically, nobody was talking about arranged marriages,” MyLondon “It’ll make you laugh a lot... and maybe cry a bit,” Asian Life magazine. Blurb A British-Bengali girl looking for Mr Right. A motley crew of men, some hoping it’s them. A mum on a mission to match make. And an age-old tradition with a twist. Welcome to the world of the arranged marriage. “While I’m young, (somewhat) free and single, time is - by Bengali standards - marching on. I’ve got to meet my dream man, or at least someone I can grow to like, and get married. The trouble is, having never fully fit in with my English friends or Asian community, I don’t really know what - or who – I’m looking for. Luckily (or not) for me, arranged marriages are still a thing. So alongside my own dating efforts, it’s everyone’s business - from my adorable yet overbearing mum, to pretend aunties and profiteering opportunists - to find me a match. With all this help, I’m pretty sure I’ll land a husband, but will he be ‘The One’?” The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage lifts the lid on the intriguing world of British-Bengali matrimony. The debut novel from former journalist Halima Khatun explores family, identity and belonging with acerbic humour. Not your average arranged marriage romance or British chick-lit, It’ll change your view of matchmaking for good… Reader reviews: "This is a great book to read on transport or going on holidays. I finished mine in no time and laughed lots!" "I loved reading this book! Such an enjoyable read which was hilarious at some points but also really highlighted how arranged marriages are viewed from different perspectives, especially in western society. It’s hard to find a book that isn’t too ‘heavy’ but also covers important issues and makes you really empathise with the main character - I even shed a tear at one point! This would be great to pack with you for your holidays or for the daily commute, it’s a real page turner and is actually very relatable even if the concept of arrange marriages is something you’re not familiar with. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun read but something a bit different from the usual chick-lit." "I started this book late one evening and just couldn’t put it down! i really enjoyed it. I love the writing style and the self-deprecating humour. it’s a real window into a world I don’t know at all and I found it fascinating. I’m left wanting to know what happens next!" Read the whole The Secret series! #1 The Secret Diary of an Arranged Marriage #2 The Secret Diary of a Bengali Bridezilla Free related short story from the mother of the bride’s perspective: No One Ever Asks Mum. Keywords: arranged marriage, books by woc, women of colour, women of color, strong Muslim female, Muslim girl books, British chick lit, British-Bengali, British Muslim, British Asian, diverse reads, funny chick-lit, women’s fiction by women of colour, women’s fiction, sweet romance, cultural insight, women in Islam, British Bangladeshi, biographical fiction. About the author Halima Khatun is a former journalist (having worked for ITV and the BBC), writer and PR consultant. Since she was a child, she knew that words would be her thing. With a lifelong passion for writing, Halima wrote her first novel - a coming-of-age children’s story - at the age of 12. It was politely turned down by all the major publishing houses. However, proving that writing was indeed her forte, Halima went on to study English and Journalism and was one of just four people in the UK to be granted a BBC scholarship during her postgraduate studies. She has since written for a number of publications including the HuffPost and Yahoo! Style, and has been featured in the Express, Metro and other national publications. Halima also blogs on lifestyle, food and travel and parenthood on HalimaBobs.com. This is where she also shares updates on her novels, as well as her author website HalimaKhatun.co.uk. Halima is a regular guest on the BBC Asian Network and frequently contributes to the HuffPost.