IMAGINARY MEN

Author(s): 
Lina Ray is a San Francisco matchmaker without a match of her own. To the chagrin of her traditional Indian family, she has not looked for love since the death of her fiance two years ago. When her family pressures her at her sister's wedding in India, Lina decides to fob them off and make up a boyfriend.

What follows is a hilarious and surprising turn of events as Lina sets out to find a real man. But no one measures up to a man she briefly encountered at the wedding, Raja Prasad. Soon her made-up man bears a striking resemblance to Raja, which is OK, until Raja himself turns up in San Francisco. What happens next forces Lina to look at herself and reconsider her self-imposed loneliness.

This is both a funny and touching love story. Lina is smart and vulnerable, and watching her come to the realization that there is another love for her is a delight. Raja is definitely a man worth traveling for. The supporting characters, both in India and San Francisco, are written with humor and intelligence. It is easy to see why Lina loves them so much.

The dual settings of India and San Francisco dovetail nicely with the Lina's internal conflict between traditional Indian customs and her modern life. Banerjee succeeds on all counts with this beautiful story. (Oct., 236 pp., $13.00)
Reviewed by: 
Stephanie Schneider