When ‘I do’ gives you déjà vu it could be a problem.
At the age of eighteen, in that first golden Oxford summer, Milly was up for anything. Rupert and his American lover Allan were all part of her new, exciting life, and when Rupert suggested to her that she and Allan should get married, just so that Allan could stay in the country, Milly didn’t hesitate.
Ten years later, Milly is a very different person. Engaged to Simon – who is wealthy, serious, and believes her to be perfect – she is facing the biggest and most elaborate wedding imaginable. Her mother has it planned to the finest detail. Milly’s dreadful secret is locked away so securely she has almost persuaded herself that it doesn’t exist – until, with only four days to go, her past catches up with her.
~ Synopsis from Good Reads
This book is written by Madeleine Wickham who is more popularly known as Sophie Kinsella – the author of the Shopaholic series.
Reading the above blurb, you can be forgiven for thinking that this is another light-hearted airy chick-lit novel. You would be right, but it also does have its really serious moments.
The focus of this book starts with the daffy wedding girl Milly who doesn’t think it’s a big deal to marry her love when she is already married to another man, but the focus thankfully quickly moves to other more interesting characters and relationships. There is her sister Isobel – pregnant with a mystery man’s child and wondering what to do next. Milly’s fiance Simon – a rather spoiled and childish man who never looks like your traditional hero material, and his dysfunctional relationship with his millionaire father – Harry. There are Milly’s parents – Olivia and James living a dead marriage, and then the story of Milly’s first husband – Allen and his ex-partner Rupert.
So, yes, this is a book which is much deeper than most chick-lit novels. It’s also a lot more realistic about life, people, and relationships.
I liked this book because I generally like Sophie Kinsella’s writing. It doesn’t matter to me whether she writes as Madeleine Wickham (more serious) or Sophie Kinsella (true chick-lit), I like her books anyway.
I did feel though that sections of this book are a little uneven. While I liked reading about each person’s dilemma, in some places, the story just felt too unbelievable. Also, each person’s storyline ends on a pretty unrealistic note. The man who says he doesn’t want children suddenly wants them. The man who hated his father all along suddenly appreciates him…you get what I am saying? The resolution was all too pat and neatly tied up…and you all know how much I hate those.
The story line about Allen and Rupert – the gay couple, was poignant but at the same time calculatedly so. I don’t want to reveal too much detail, but it felt like it was written especially to tear at the heart.
I still did like the book overall, but it’s not one that I will re-read. This book is a not-so-great effort by a generally talented and entertaining author.
Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.