[P]erfect beach read—down to its Nantucket setting. The Carmichaels and Grahams arrive on the island for the wedding of golden girl Jenna Carmichael to ethical banker Stuart Graham. Jenna's mother Beth, before dying seven years ago, prepared a wedding notebook, a guide that approaches sanctity.... The narrative unfolds through [various] perspectives and is aided by entries from Beth's notebook.... The author's straightforward style pulls the reader into the minds of her characters, and all the secrets and sorrows that create the universal messi-ness of major family events.
Ah, the wedding day. A romantic time that celebrates the union of two individuals and the joining of two families. What could be better, right? Wrong! The Jennifer Carmichael/Stuart Graham wedding is full of dysfunction, stress, and the reopening of old wounds.... [A] twist on what seems at first to be a predictable plot point gives this title broad appeal to both young and older women. Another summer delight for fans of women's fiction. —Amber McKee, Cumberland Univ. Lib., Lebanon, TN
Hilderbrand's surprisingly original take on the wedding disaster novel. A wedding weekend is a time-honored literary pretext for exploring family dysfunction, and Hilderbrand's version combines gentle irony with astute observation. .... The populous cast makes establishing a coherent throughline difficult, and the first 200 pages are mainly prologue. But Hilderbrand's casually tossed-off zingers, and her gift for eliciting sympathy for even the most insufferable of her characters, keep the pages turning until the disaster unfolds in earnest.
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