October’s Featured Author: Zara Raheem

October 18, 2021

October’s Featured Author: Zara Raheem

Every month, we like to highlight an author our readers may see in one of their BookCases. This month, we’re honoring Zara Raheem, an up-and-coming author living in California. She recently released her debut novel, The Marriage Clock, and has been a buzz around the publishing world since. On top of an incredible first novel, she is also writing her second piece, The Retreat, and is currently teaching English and creative writing classes.

The Marriage Clock has been called a “must-read book of the summer” by influential brands such as Cosmopolitan, POPSUGAR, Bustle, and Book Riot, among others. This beautiful novel is about a woman named Leila living in India. Her parents want to see her in an arranged marriage, as is common for those living in her South Asian-Muslim American community, but Leila has other plans; she wants a whirlwind Bollywood romance and to find true love on her own terms. That’s when she and her parents come up with a compromise - Leila has three months to find love her way, or on her parents’ 30th anniversary, they will find Leila’s forever match for her. 

This incredible novel was actually based on Zara’s own experiences dealing with arranged marriages. She would tell her friends the crazy and awkward dates she had to attend, and those friends encouraged her to write about them; and soon, a few simple writings turned into the now loved novel, The Marriage Clock. She described Leila as a strong, outspoken, and independent woman, much like Zara herself, and those close to her. She took her own experiences and those close to her to create this empowered and unapologetic South Asian-American protagonist. 

Zara dedicated The Marriage Clock to “every woman who’s even been told she wasn’t enough.” When asked about the inspiration for the dedication, Zara said: “My hope is that Leila’s journey will resonate with readers, and perhaps challenge women to seek beyond the societal and cultural expectations of marriage and family in order to discover their own definitions of happiness.” This is such a powerful and beautiful message that we can all get behind. 

If you’re subscribed to our “Booking for Love” category this October, you will receive Zara’s debut novel, The Marriage Clock. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to receive this powerful story! If you’re a new subscriber, you can use code NEW15 at checkout for 15% off your first order. Tag us when you receive your first box and let us know how much you love The Marriage Clock on social media.