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January 12, 2022

The Wedding Setup by Sonali Dev ~ a Review

by MK French

Seven years ago, Ayesha Shetty's brother died. At that moment, she put away her wild girl tendencies and became the dutiful daughter her mother needed her to be, taking on her brother's role in the family business. Her friend's wedding is just the escape she needs, but her mother is set on fixing her up. Ayesha soon sees Emmitt Hughes, her brother's best friend and the man she once was willing to give up family duties for. What will her choice be now?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Wedding Setup
January 2022; Amazon Original Stories; B09GPDK237
audio, ebook; women's fiction

The Wedding Setup
 is an Amazon Original short story, so it's a fairly quick read. I love how Ayesha has such a solid friendship with Bela, and that Bela was able to pull Ayesha out of the well of grief when her brother died. She tries to be good for her mother, who explicitly says that she wants a "responsible obedient girl" and looks down on Bela's family who is less traditional. The traditional choice of letting her pick out a doctor as a potential husband because she was too busy to date helps Ayesha's mother but leaves her dissatisfied emotionally. Being forced into proximity with Emmitt makes her reevaluate her own feelings, and eventually, everything she knows gets turned inside out.

As a short story, the usual romance novel beats are condensed into the span of wedding preparations. We still get our same moments throughout the story, where Ayesha must weigh her own happiness against her mother's, and her desire for Emmitt against the traditions of South Asians in her community. For such a short story, it's still packed full of emotions: grief for the brother that died, the relationships that changed and the people who they all used to be, as well as the love that still lingers there. I liked this story a lot, and wish Ayesha the best with her future.

Buy The Wedding Setup at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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