“Knowing a person isn’t like knowing a string of facts. It’s more like…a feeling.”
- The Wedding Girl, Madeleine Wickham
Check out my read during my trips to Cebu and Bohol: The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham, who writes under the pen name Sophie Kinsella (whose books are my absolute favorite). I’ve read all of her works as Kinsella and being the silly fangirl that I am, I really, really hope she comes out with new material in the near future. (My review on her latest effort can be found here. So many of you have been requesting for a copy of that book!)
Anyway, since I’ve exhausted all Kinsella books and was in the mood for some chick lit (it’s the perfect beach companion!), I turned instead to Madeleine Wickham. I thought: surely the reading experience wouldn’t be too far off since Wickham and Kinsella are, after all, one and the same? Read on to find out if the writing styles are indeed comparable, my thoughts based mostly on my experience with The Wedding Girl.
The book follows the life of Milly, who is regarded in the book as a pushover and a people pleaser. However, these characteristics don’t seem to faze her fiance: gorgeous Simon, the son of a wealthy, well-known businessman. Their wedding preparations go without a hitch until a few days before the big day, when it dawns on Milly that a) she has been pretending to be a smart and sophisticated woman and b) she is still married! The book primarily explores Milly’s struggle to remedy the situation, and delves into the other characters’ dark secrets, and how, ultimately, they are able to resolve them.
I appreciated the fact that regardless of the name she writes under, Madeleine Wickham was still able to keep to her trademark: light and easy reads. The striking difference though was the third person narrative — this gives the reader a closer look into the affairs of the other, minor characters, and grants them the liberty to tie up all the events into a cohesive and compelling tale.
I thought though that as Wickham, the narrative seemed a little less funny. Based on this book alone, I found that there was minimal humor, and more access to “serious” topics like marriage, homosexuality, abortion, etc. I thought the book ran a little dry. Perhaps I was missing the fun, upbeat tone in Kinsella’s writing.
I was also a bit bothered by the fact that the conflicts presented in the story were solved with ease. And at staggered points in the book, I managed to foster annoyance at most of the characters! (This rarely happens, so this happening with The Wedding Girl shouldn’t be a good thing, right?)
I also didn’t like that towards the end, the plot reminded me so much of Gossip Girl (which I stopped watching after the first season because it’s absolute crap): how everyone is involved with everyone else (not always romantically) just because. Ugh. I felt that in that regard, the story lacked originality and spontaneity!
All in all, I will dare say that The Wedding Girl is every bit corny. It’s the type of book that will help you get by idle time, but not one to offer you something new. I want Sophie Kinsella’s charm back!
Book cover was grabbed from the Internet.