About Books #109: The Wedding War

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and most of that is to blame to my reading slump… As well as a couple of complete duds I had to force my way through (most disappointing books of 2020 – I’m looking at you). Luckily, after rainy days comes sunshine, and in this case, The Wedding War was that sunshine, as well as a breath of fresh air in one.

I was offered an ARC by Book Sirens in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

The story

Once upon a time, Melanie Layton and Tennyson O’Rourke were inseparable—but their friends-4ever promises were shattered when an explosive secret was revealed at Mel’s wedding, a secret that destroyed her family. The two haven’t spoken for the past twenty some odd years, and they’d be happy if they never crossed paths again.

But now Mel’s daughter and Teeny’s son have fallen in love—and announced their engagement.

Which means the two women must tolerate one another and play nice long enough to plan their children’s dream wedding. From the beginning, they clash. Melanie imagines a classy, elegant event, in keeping with tradition. Teeny’s vision is a bit more extravagant, and thanks to her habit of marrying well, she’s got the cash to plan the flashiest wedding of the season.

Complicating matters are the men in their lives: Tennyson is falling for the wrong guy, and Melanie is trying to hold on to a flailing marriage. Amid the flurry of cake tastings, dress fittings, seating charts, and bridal showers, Mel and Teeny confront their past mistakes—with twenty years of pent-up drama.

When the day of the wedding finally arrives, their friendship might just be something old and something new.

The opinion

C – characters
A – atmosphere
W – writing
P – plot
I – intrigue
L – logic
E – enjoyment

Here’s the thing: I am nothing like the main characters of this book, not in age, social standing, life state, or anything. And yet… I found myself identifying with them immensely. There’s just something about how inherently flawed they are that just hit the spot.

That’s not all, though, of course. Weddings can – so I’m told – bring out some big emotions and that’s certainly the case for this particular wedding. In that sense this book kind of reminded me of Cathy Kelly’s It Started With Paris which has a similar starting point. (and if you know me at all, you’ll know that’s just about the biggest compliment I can give a book in this genre). As is the case in that one, though, the confrontation with such enthusiastic love can be quite a stark one.

The way Liz Talley manages to slowly unravel the traces of a friendship, a marriage and two lifetimes made this book into one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had in a while. I was almost scared to read on, at times, just waiting what else could have gone wrong, or have been worse than what was revealed before. And to then be handed that final twist? Or twists, I should say? I basically wanted to start reading again as soon as I turned the last page.

The rating: 4,5/5

If you’re in need of a book that masterfully combines the rediscovery of a friendship, who they were, who they are and who they want to be… Combined with high-speed writing, extremely well-rounded characters and – as I mentioned above – a couple of twists that basically knocked me out… This one is a keeper! (Goodreads)