BOOK REVIEW: There Goes the Bride by Holly McQueen

hollymcqtgtbrev.pngWedding fever has been in the air over the past few months, bringing with it some fabulous new chick-lit novels. One that we've been particularly excited about is There Goes the Bride, the latest book by Holly McQueen. You probably remember Holly as the author of the Isabel Bookbinder series, but this time McQueen steps away from Isabel's career-related escapades for this wedding-themed standalone book.
 
In There Goes the Bride, Polly Atkins is soon to be married. Which is fabulous news for older sister Bella, who's making the arrangements. But there's a problem. Because Polly returns from New York and reveals that she won't be marrying the handsome, lovely surgeon Dev after all.

Bella can't understand what's driven Polly to such a harsh decision, and she's being pretty secretive. As Bella's trying to work out the reason behind her sister's choice, her own relationship isn't exactly peachy.

Meanwhile, Polly's stylish friend Grace can't wait to walk with her childhood friend down the aisle - and stuck in a marriage like hers, she's in need of some excitement. However, when the news is out that the marriage is off, Grace too is left wondering what's gotten into Polly. After all, Dev is the perfect partner...isn't he?

Both women, although entirely different, embark on a mission to get Polly and Dev back together. However, there's already a lot going on in their own lives. After her accident, Bella can't have children and is planning to adopt with football-mad Jamie. But when a naked stranger turns up in her house, nearly ruining her chances with the social worker, Bella's life is about to change.

And Grace, with her seemingly stable marriage with older husband Charlie and her children, could make anyone think she's the perfect wife. But nothing is ever that simple. Grace entered into marriage early and is now forced to ensure school meetings with the posh mummies and Charlie's horrid ex-wife Vanessa. But when a chance meeting with Charlie's uber-rich boss leaves her faced with certain choices, she knows that certain things can no longer stay hidden.

Then there's Polly, who hopes that other secrets can remain undiscovered forever...

As the lives of Grace and Bella intertwine to try and save Polly, they're forced to face up to some problems of their own.

There Goes the Bride gripped me from page one. The book focuses on the lives of Grace and Bella - Polly doesn't play such a large part in the novel, at least not until the end. Although I liked Polly as a character, I didn't feel involved with her like I did the others. Whereas it was fun to try and work out Polly's secret, when it was finally revealed it was not as huge as I had expected - the relationship issues of Bella and Grace were more serious and seemed to take over the story. The book was highly addictive and I loved each of the characters - Bella the sensible sister and Grace the doting friend, who at first seemed a bit prim and snotty, but after reading her story it became clear that inside she was a fun-loving individual who had started a family too young.
 
I simply couldn't put this book down. Admittedly I was expecting a wedding tale along the lines of the Isabel novels which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the issue of the character's over-the-top ditziness. However, although keeping the same fantastically funny writing style, this was completely different and an absolute joy to read. Bring on the next novel, Holly!

Rating:
5/5

 

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