Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (26 April 2012)
It’s the day they’ve always dreamed about. But will it turn out to be a nightmare …? Bel is in the midst of planning her perfect wedding when disaster strikes and everything she thought she knew is turned on its head. Can she hold it all together and, with the help of her friends, and a mysterious man she meets unexpectedly, turn disaster into triumph? Bel’s friend, ice-cream parlour owner Violet, is engaged to Glyn, who is besotted by her although Violet fell out of love with him long ago. But however trapped she feels in the relationship, she can’t quite say the words, ‘I don’t want to marry you anymore.’ Then, just when she’s about to give up and resign herself to married life, she finds love in the most surprising of places. Will duty rule her heart or will she allow herself to be swept off her feet? Max was planning a quick registry office do with her fiancé Stuart until she sees a TV programme about traveller brides and becomes determined to have the most extravagantly glitzy wedding ever. But in all the excitement has she lost sight of what’s really important? Does she want the wedding more than she wants the groom? And as all three friends find the dress of their dreams at the White Wedding bridal shop, its owner, the lovely Freya, guarantees that her gowns will bring them happiness – though maybe not quite in the way they expected …
In the Prologue of White Wedding, it’s February and the fifth time that Bel, Max and Violet have bumped into each other in the bridal shop White Wedding. Chapter One begins three months later and the women have all become friends.
Bel’s wedding is first and the reader intuits that during those three months something has happened – she’s not as excited and buzzing as she was in the Prologue. Leading up to her wedding (and throughout the book), the strands of Max and Violet’s lives are woven through. Written in the third person this allows the reader to get to know the women, their fiancés and their lives.
Bel’s wedding is explosive! What a wedding to start with! I loved the wedding cake … She flees to the Bronte cottages on the Moors that are owned by her father to gather herself together. It is here she meets the mysterious man alluded to in the synopsis. The antagonism and Bel’s eventual return to her life are brilliantly portrayed. Max’ wedding is next followed by Violet’s. There are realisations and trauma leading up to each of them.
In the background is White Wedding owner Freya. There is a lot of intrigue surrounding her. No-one knows for sure her background. The part she plays in the story is very subtle but causes major changes that alter paths – and is magical!
All the characters are believable and easy to identify with. I actually don’t have a favourite … because they are all brilliant (I’m including in this the characters readers are meant to dislike).
There are many levels to White Wedding. Although the main theme is the weddings, I became engrossed in all the women’s lives. There is much depth and I think all women should have a ‘Freya’ in their lives before their marriages … Milly Johnson explores step-families, manipulation/obsession, insecurities, mental illness/Alzheimer’s and expectations. I LOVED the metaphysical aspect
Milly’s different length of chapters enhances the flow of the tale being created. You’ll find Milly’s humour sprinkled throughout alongside plenty of tension. There were a few surprises for me – I knew something was coming from Bel’s wedding being written up in the Melbourne Star but never guessed how that fitted in. What a shocker! I also wasn’t expecting Glyn to go that far … or Bel’s ‘husband’ Richard’s secret … and what a brilliant ending!
I’ve been so engrossed in Bel, Max and Violet’s lives:
I would like to thank publishers, Simon & Schuster UK, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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