Monday Book Review: Wedding Night

I rarely read fiction anymore. I feel like even the leisure time I carve out to read should be useful, non fiction research I could incorporate into my current novel, my next novel, or the novel I might write some time, some where. But since I had a lot of hours to kill on my 3000 mile plus road trip I grabbed this late work by Sophie Kinsella. She is astoundingly well known as the author behind the Shopaholic series, but to be honest I always liked her off beat books better. Undomestic Goddess, for example, about a lawyer who hides from her “ruined” life as a housekeeper.

So, Wedding Night. A quick note about the audio book. Both of the voice actresses had an annoying habit of dropping their voices very low and then getting very loud again rapidly, cycling low again, then loud, etc. Since I was driving all the volume adjustment got very wearing. So I may have missed some of the nuanced words as they were so low I couldn’t change the volume in time to catch everything.

The book follows two sisters, Fliss and Lottie. Lottie is the younger sister, every time she has a break up she makes an “unfortunate choice,” according to Fliss. I couldn’t relate very well to Lottie. She was flighty and irrational and had the most unreasonable expectations of every one and every thing. She was constantly going on about every thing being perfect or needing every thing to be perfect. Her current unfortunate choice was to marry, on the spur of the moment, her gap year boyfriend, who turns up out of the blue after 15 years.

Fliss on the other hand I overly related to. She spends the entire book trying to “save” her sister’s life while ignoring the issues in her own. (I used to be this woman) She goes to the most amusing extremes, I laughed out loud several times, to keep Lottie from making her mistake bigger than it already is. Her plan is to keep Lottie and Ben from consummating their marriage, so they can get an annulment as soon as they realize their mistake in marrying.

I didn’t like how neatly the book winds all the ends in. For example, on her gap year, Lottie stayed at a student guest house that had a fire one night. She had directed everyone how to get off the second floor veranda safely. She had always considered this a huge turning point in her life. The “one time” she did something right. Late in the book she finds out the fire was started by someone leaving candles burning. She assumes it was her fault, as she was always leaving her candles burning. This is such a huge chance for the author to allow real growth in a character. What does one do when you discover something like this? That the huge disaster you helped others avoid, you actually caused. Well the way Sophia Kinsella addresses it is by having a third party ride up on his white horse at the eleventh hour, investigate, and tell her, it wasn’t actually your fault, someone else left their candles burning and caused the fire. Sigh. Disappointment.

The romances predictably work themselves out. Although to be honest, I don’t think anyone is as forgiving or magnanimous in real life as they are in this book, but it is fiction after all. Perhaps a work of fantasy. I did feel compelled to finish it, so that is something. LOL.

I plan to make this Monday Book Review an ongoing feature, let me know what you think about that…

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