Hello to my lovely blog readers, I am reviewing a very special book today, after a gap of nearly two weeks.
I know I have been a little inactive on my blog, but its been a manic two weeks for me due to busy times at work and in my personal life.
That said, lets get to the important business of reviewing an amazing book….
There are books that make you laugh, there are books that make you cry and then there are books that make you do both and make you think’ This has happened to me….I can relate to this’. Paige Toon’s Thirteen Wedding is such a book. While reading this, I was so engrossed in the story that I felt one with the characters, rooting for them, feeling with them and ultimately wanting that perfect happy ending for them that are usually a feature of all good chick lit novels. Let me say at this point that I love Paige Toon’s novels, her stories have a perfect combination of love, longing and angst combined with feisty heroines and swoon-worthy heroes.
Thirteen Weddings is Aussie picture editor and part time wedding photographer Bronte’s and her new but all too familiar colleague Alex’s story. Bronte meets and has a one night stand with Alex at her close friend Polly’s hen night when Alex is on a break from his long term relationship with girlfriend of 10 years, Zara. Although both Alex and Bronte feel a special connection that night, they part ways and then meet again, out of the blue at their place of work.
What ensues is a tale of unrequited love, yearning, life lessons, sacrifice and making difficult decisions, all set amongst the thirteen weddings for which Bronte is assistant photographer. Enter Lachie, a handsome, fellow twenty something Aussie wedding singer, who instantly takes a shine to Bronte and you have love triangle that could give the Jen/Brad/Ang one (in its heyday) a run for its money. We also find that our heroine, despite being multi-talented and confident individual, has a very dysfunctional family who have some skeletons in their closet. This novel is a perfect summer read and although it is light-hearted at places, Bronte and Alex’s dilemma is described with an intensity and passion that you would not normally find in chick lit novels.
I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, meaty read and I must say, in a couple of places, I was so drawn into the novel that I was actually cross with the heroine for making certain rash decisions and behaving in the way that she did. But for this very reason, this is a good novel, because the story has been concluded very realistically and it does have a few unexpected twists, especially in the end which the reader does not expect. I also loved the well-described hugely entertaining thirteen weddings that Paige photographed, a few memorable ones featured reluctant spouses, a runaway bride, bratty children playing pageboys as well as Bronte’s friend Marie and Russ’s small but beautiful wedding in the sun. The most poignant and heartbreaking moment in the novel is when Bronte has to photograph that one wedding that she never thought she would or could. Serious issues such as her childhood friend Polly’s battle with alcohol are also tackled and Bronte’s other friendships with Marie, Rachel and Bridgette give a warm feel to this novel. Also, watch out for cameos of characters from Paige’s previous novels, ‘Pictures of Lily’, ‘Lucy in the Sky’ and ‘One Perfect Summer’.
For me, both the heroes of the novel, are intriguing in their own way. Alex is the distant, sometimes closed and unattainable but immensely attractive man that stole Bronte’s heart and Lachie is the charming, handsome, larger than life lover and friend to Bronte who is there for her during happy and sad times. You feel for both Bronte and Alex when they struggle to fight their burgeoning attraction for each other and you can’t help but fall a little in love with Lachie, so full of warmth and charm and obvious adoration for Bronte.
This lovely novel deserves all of its five stars and is published by Simon & Shuster UK, out on the 22nd of May 2014. Pre-order yours now!