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The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

July 21, 2009 - Amy Phelps
One of author Sophie Kinsella's first works, written under the name Madeleine Wickham, is available for the first time in the United States. "The Wedding Girl" is a thoughtful story of characters that are living a lie or lying to each other and the fallout this causes, all centered around a wedding.

Milly's upcoming wedding is overwhelming her family. Milly has fallen in love with Simon, the son of a billionaire, and the two are preparing for their happily ever after. Simon wants to prove to his father who wasn't in his life until after his mother died, that he will have the perfect relationship and love his family more than his father ever did. Milly wants to be the perfect companion for Simon, even though she is becoming less and less like herself and more like who she thinks he wants her to be. Her mother is obsessed with planning the wedding and the status the family will receive from it even while she fails to notice that her husband is becoming more and more unhappy and distant. Her sister, Isobel, is unhappy with being just a 'career' girl but now she's got another role she's going to have to deal with soon - that of mother.

And then a secret from Milly's past comes to light - as a young student, she married a gay friend, Allan, to help keep him in the country so he could stay with his partner, Rupert. Milly seemed to think she could keep this buried, but now everything is ruined unless Milly can track down her "husband" and obtain a divorce. Tracking him down leads her to Rupert, who is a living a lie of his own - with his wife. In the end, revelations are made, lives are changed and Milly looks forward to her happily ever after - with or without Simon.

This is great women's fiction, at times funny, heartbreaking, and always engrossing. The reader will get involved with all of the characters' lives - flaws and all. Fans of Kinsella will enjoy this one, though don't expect it to be just like the "Shopaholic" series, this story has a more serious tone.

"The Wedding Girl" is published by St. Martin's Press. It is $24.95 and 327 pages long.


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