Book Review: Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen
July 10, 2013 12 Comments
From the publishers: “Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:
Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, her lost baby, the galloping years, and a disastrous haircut. Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, avoider of conflicts and increasingly distant husband. The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants. At the marriage of their son James Irving, forbidden object of inappropriate and troubling desire. For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.
There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, sending shockwaves through her family, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.”
Someone Else’s Wedding: What I thought
This is a good women’s contemporary story with some unexpected serious undercurrents. Fran, the main character, tells the story in first person. She has a husband that she’s not close to any more, and a daughter with a married lover and another daughter who can’t stand her boyfriend any longer (he’s at the wedding, too).
Hour-by-hour, from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, Fran tell us what happens. No, she doesn’t get (much) sleep. She’s obsessed with Jamie, the groom, and he with her. His family, who have noticed this, are trying to keep them apart.
Much of the story of Fran is also the story of her daughters. When they all come to realise this, it becomes much easier for all of them to understand each other and to accept the decisions they make.
I have been to a few English weddings, and this seemed all very familiar. There is the wedding ceremony, the shoes that aren’t suitable for a full day’s wear, the person everyone wants to avoid, the heavy intake of alcohol. This book brought me back to the weddings that I’ve attended (including my own).
The “suspense” of Fran’s past wore a little thin at times, and I did guess some of the story in advance. But that didn’t matter much. This was a fun, mostly believable read, that will be recognisable for many people.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 288
First published: 2013 (June)
I got this: from Doubleday publishers for review
Genre: contemporary fiction
Extra: Also check my review for The War of the Wives