Author : Sophie Kinsella
Genre : Fiction
Publisher : Bantam Press
Wedding Night is a surprisingly insightful look at the insanity that can set in after a break-up.
WE all have our moments of madness after a break-up, right? The spur-of-the-moment haircut after getting dumped, keying your ex’s car, spiking his drink with laxatives....
Of course, none of the stories I’ve heard come close to Charlotte Graveney’s (thankfully fictional) escapades. In Sophie Kinsella’s new release, Wedding Night, Lottie runs into her first love after breaking up with her dreamy boyfriend Richard Finch for not wanting to marry her – and promptly gets hitched. The pair head off to the romantic Greek island of Ikonos, where they first met, for their honeymoon. The catch? No sex before the marriage.
But what could go wrong? Ben Parr is rich, good-looking, romantic – and most importantly, unlike Richard, he wants to get married. Lottie is the love of his life, or so he says.
Enter Lottie’s protective sister, Felicity Graveney: a bitter divorcee and tough-as-nails single mother who simply cannot bear to let her little sister make her mistakes. She pulls all the strings she can – which amount to quite a number in her capacity as swish hotel reviewer – to ensure that Lottie and Ben don’t, er, consummate their marriage during their Greek honeymoon before she can get to Ikonos and talk sense into her little sis.
Hilarity ensues – this book is laugh out loud funny. I’m not a fan of most chick lit, a genre which often lends itself to repetitive story-telling and cliched plot devices. But Wedding Night is genuinely witty and fun. In fact, I enjoyed it more than the Shopaholic series from the same author: although Lottie is your typical unappealing Kinsella heroine (awkward, a bit of a compulsive liar, prone to panic and quite bumbling) she’s also weirdly charming. She’s also competent professionally, which is a marked change from many of Kinsella’s previous protagonists.
The book is partially told from her sister Fliss’ point of view, and that’s where the real fun is – Fliss perfectly captures the anger and misery of a rough divorce, and you find yourself rooting for her completely. Smart, angry and resourceful, I only wish Kinsella would write more women like this. Fliss sabotages her sister’s honeymoon with style, from inducing an allergic reaction by way of peanut oil during a romantic massage to ensuring the honeymoon suite’s television blares The Teletubbies (that’s a real romance killer).
The hijinks only intensify when, on her flight to Ikonos, Fliss runs into both the dumped Richard who wants Lottie back – and Ben’s hunky, sullen business partner Lorcan (who she had a brief one night stand with) whose only priority is the future of the company. The motley crew continue to Ikonos, where Lottie is beginning to experience doubts about her husband’s supposed “perfection”.
Wedding Night is a surprisingly insightful look at the insanity that can set in after a break-up, and an amusing reminder why we should never take that trip down memory lane. Exes are exes for a reason, after all.
It also examines the idea of the white lie, and doing something for someone else’s good – more often than not, you’ll be caught out and at the very least look like an utter fool.
A comedy of errors with the requisite happy ending, Wedding Night is a witty, sweet read that takes you from plot point to plot point in the easiest of fashions. Props to Kinsella for taking on a not-completely-romance rom-com tale, and keeping readers hooked while she does it.