The marriage clock

Zara Raheem

Book Review


Leila Abid, a young Muslim American woman strikes a deal with her traditional Indian parents: she will find her future husband in three months, or else they’ll arrange her marriage for her!

Leila has this lifelong dream of a Bollywood romance, where she expected someone would sweep her off her feet, while a romantic song is playing in the background. She wished for a romance, where real love happens before marriage, not the other way around.

After twenty-six years of being single, and still no sign of “Mr. Perfect”, Leila starts to get nervous. To make matters worse, her parents are panicking and the neighbors are talking. Leila wonders if her expectations were just too high.

Leila decides to take matters into her own hands. Instead of just waiting and dreaming, she now begins her search. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates, and even ambush dates, the sparks just don’t fly.

With the deadline looming just over the horizon, Leila has to find her guy before the time runs out.

Leila has to face the consequences if she failed. Will Leila find her “the one” before the deadline?

Read the book to find out.


“It seemed the more I chased after love, the more confused I felt about it.”

– Zara Raheem, The Marriage Clock.

After reading three thriller genre books back to back, I was quite hesitant to start this book. After two unsuccessful attempts to start this book, I finally started this book the third time.

What I didn’t like:

As any other book requires time to get into the actual story, I gave time for this book to actually pick up pace after the usual introduction. In my opinion, the introduction of the book was much longer than needed.

I wanted to love this book. I really did. As an Indian, I know the hardships that many women face when it comes to marriage. I was actually rooting for the protagonist here but, the expectations that she had were very unrealistic.

I felt that the protagonist wasn’t given a really powerful character. She was immature for a twenty-six-year-old. She was really quick to judge the guys.

There were several chances where the book could have definitely changed gears and become much better. When the main character felt really disappointed in two certain scenarios, I was disappointed too.

“What if she actually has my perfect match in one of those folders? What if I wasted all this time looking around, and my Mr.Perfect is just waiting for me right here in this cabinet?”

– Zara Raheem, The Marriage Clock.

What I liked:

Apart from Leila, the other characters were written really well. There was no exaggeration when it came to the parents. This is exactly how many Indian parents really are and the impressions were point on.

Even though Leila is portrayed as an immature person, the character development she had with her cousin was something that I enjoyed.

I would say it was cool of the author to include Indian heritage and the detailed descriptions of a typical Indian wedding.

I really loved the romance between Leila and Zain. I thought it was really cute. I really saw that story going somewhere.

“I sipped my chai silently. My marriage clock was ticking on Indian time now, and Indian time was even more aggressive than I was used to.”

– Zara Raheem, The Marriage Clock.

I wouldn’t say this book is a bad one. It is just that I felt that the author deprived me of a good ending. The book cover made me think I was going to have a good rom-com story but I didn’t get one.

I would rate this book 2 on 5. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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