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Posted May 11, 2013
In THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING our heroine, Emily, is grappling with what she needs to make her happy. Prior to coming to Valentine, Vermont for her destination wedding, she thought that was her fiance Grant. But when her ex-husband Ryan appears at the resort and she gets a birds eye view on the previously thought perfect family she was going to marry into, Emily has to finally admit that maybe everything she thought she wanted isn't exactly the best fit.
I liked Emily. She changed everything about her life when her first marriage disintegrated. She thought if she let go of that free spirited girl, she wouldn't have her heart broken like it was when she and Ryan split. She needed stability in her life and wanted someone who was going to give her that stability and not make her life (and emotions) a roller coaster. She found someone who met all her criteria, but she wasn't really happy despite giving that outward appearance. She denied it for a long time, but that week before her wedding really opened her eyes to who she'd turned into.
The cast of secondary characters really make this story. They make you laugh and have you wishing you were at the resort so you could take part in whatever trouble they were getting into. Between Emily's mother, best friend and Grant's family (those aunts were vicious) I couldn't wait to see what they would get into next.
Beth Kendrick once again creates characters and a story that feel like they could happen to your best friend or even yourself. This was a book I didn't want to put down, but when I did get to the end I was left with a smile on my face.
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Posted May 13, 2013
The Week before the Wedding is a wonderful version of the classic romance theme of reuniting with a long ago love. Emily is planning her second wedding to Dr. Grant- the Ken doll of Doctors. He is perfect in so many ways; he’s nice, handsome, caring and most important to Emily, he’s the picture of stability. This is important because her first husband Ryan was the picture of irresponsibility. He was a horror film buff and slob and their marriage only lasted five months before Emily left him. Determined to never be in a situation like that again, Emily has gotten an MBA and turned her life into a model of doing the correct thing. She has never looked back and is shocked when Ryan turns up at the location where her wedding will be. He is now a successful Hollywood producer and still is somewhat of a free spirit.
Ryan is determined to win Emily back and he gets help from her family members. Her sister Summer has one of the best lines in the book when she talks about his having matured into a successful single man. She says “He’s like a unicorn. We may never see another one in our lifetime”
What I liked about this book was the idea that Emily was so focused on making everything perfect that she didn’t really see what her life had become. She cut her past out of her life and just moved on but never really dealt with her feelings or allowed herself to revisit her choices. Ryan has moved on but he has worked through what went wrong with the marriage and how he contributed to the problem. Their romance is the one that they weren’t ready to have when they were so young and idealistic.
The secondary characters are great in this book especially the mothers. Emily’s mother is a much married flamboyant woman and Grant’s mother is a buttoned up proper matron. Their road to friendship has a rocky start but is really humorous. A pair of evil sisters adds to the bonding between mother-in-laws.
The ending is not a surprise but it is also not a given throughout most of the book. Ms. Kendrick does a good job of keeping the reader wondering what will happen. The ending is satisfying on all levels.
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