Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#BookReview: The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

Sophie Kinsella writing as Madeline Wickham, or rather when Wickham isn’t writing under the Kinsella pseudonym, tries to do entirely too much. Whereas her Kinsella books tend to focus on one character with the other characters in supporting roles, her Wickham books take on far too many characters who all have a story line that needs to be explored. It makes for a more complete story, but not everyone's story needs to be told, if that makes sense.

Who we are at 18 is rarely who we are at 28. At 18, Milly headed off to Oxford, not because she was a student at university, but because she was taking a training course in the area. While there, she met Rupert and Allan, students at Oxford and, while she initially thought one of them would fall in love with her, Rupert and Allan were already in love with each other. Content to be in their presence, Milly happily became their third wheel. So when Allan asked her to marry him so he could stay in the country legally, Milly happily obliged. Their wedding day came and after their vows were exchanged, Milly never saw Allan or Rupert again.

Fast forward 10 years and Milly is happily engaged to Simon. With her wedding just days away, Milly hasn’t given her first marriage a thought. But as luck would have it, her photographer, who has shown up days before the wedding, recognizes her as the same woman he photographed 10 years ago in a wedding gown in Oxford. When he threatens to expose her, Milly works herself into a frenzy trying to make things right before her big day.

Even though this is Milly’s story, she’s not necessarily the main character, no one is, thanks to the number of story lines Wickham throws at readers. In addition to wondering if Milly and Simon will make it to the church on time, one is left to ponder whether or not Olivia and James will stay together, whatever happened to Allan and Rupert, and just what is wrong with Isabel. With a cast of over the top characters, rounded out by Milly’s godmother, Esme, The Wedding Girl, is quite the story.

Listening time: 8 hours, 42 minutes
Published: December 2010

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