There Goes the Bride: A Novel

There Goes the Bride: A Novel

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by Holly McQueen

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Happily ever after isn’t always what you expect…

Polly Atkins, a Londoner living in New York City, is headed back across the pond for her wedding, a grand affair that has her older sister, Bella, in a whirlwind of excitement. Bella can’t wait to take over the wedding plans—and neither can Polly’s best friend, Grace,


Happily ever after isn’t always what you expect…

Polly Atkins, a Londoner living in New York City, is headed back across the pond for her wedding, a grand affair that has her older sister, Bella, in a whirlwind of excitement. Bella can’t wait to take over the wedding plans—and neither can Polly’s best friend, Grace, whose life as a wife, housekeeper, and mother is making her feel older than her twenty-eight years. She’s desperate to see Polly settle down in the same city—and the same life.

The only one who isn’t bursting with enthusiasm is Polly. Which is why, before things can get any more chaotic, she calls the whole thing off and lets go of the most perfect man on the planet. There’s no way that Polly is going to tell anyone why she’s changed her mind. Some secrets are best kept hidden. But Grace and Bella are determined to get Polly and her fiancé back together if it’s the last thing they do. After all, solving someone else’s problems has got to be better than dealing with your own. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Polly Atkins is leaving New York and heading home to London to marry the perfect man in McQueen’s charming newest (after Confetti Confidential), and her older sister, Bella, and best friend Grace couldn’t be more excited. Unfortunately, Polly is less than enthused and calls off the wedding, refusing to explain her reasons. Though Bella and Grace have their own problems—Bella can’t conceive and her unreliable boyfriend, Jamie, won’t help with an adoption; Grace is an overworked and underappreciated mother and homemaker—both busy themselves with getting to the bottom of Polly’s sudden change of heart. Meanwhile, Bella bemoans her childlessness and acclimates (and warms up) to Liam, an unwanted houseguest foisted upon her by Jamie, and Grace strikes up an affair with her husband’s wealthy boss. In an attempt to reunite Polly with her beau, Bella invites him to her Christmas party, where the two reconnect. But nothing is sure until Polly comes clean about her troubled past. Readers will delight in McQueen’s lovable cast, the dynamics of Grace’s escapist romance, Bella’s understated affection for Liam, and Polly’s emotional revelation. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates. (June 5)
From the Publisher
“Readers will delight in McQueen’s lovable cast, the dynamics of Grace’s escapist romance, Bella’s understated affection for Liam, and Polly’s emotional revelation.” —Publishers Weekly

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Atria Books
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Read an Excerpt




December 24, 2011



I know it’s Christmas Eve. And I know you’re halfway up a mountain in Colorado right now, wowing your half million nephews and nieces with your snowboarding prowess. It’s almost ten at night here, so you’re probably right in the middle of your afternoon ski. So I’m really, really sorry to disturb you.

I’m only emailing because you said I should always get in touch when things are not good. And things are not good just now. They’re not good at all.

I’ve just run out on my sister’s Christmas party. I know, I know—I’m getting good at running out on things, aren’t I? And you’re probably thinking, oh, that doesn’t sound too big a deal. Polly’s told me all about her sister, Bella, and I can’t say I’m surprised she’s done a runner from a Christmas party of hers. Especially if Bella’s annoying boyfriend was there (he was) and especially if her mum was getting tipsy (she was) and especially if Bella and her dad were engaging in competitive one-upmanship over the best way to heat up sausage rolls (they were). Anybody would make a sharp exit from a party like that!

But none of those things were the reason I left.

The surprise guest was the reason I left. Bella invited Dev.

That’s right. Dev.

I’ve no idea what she was thinking. Actually, what am I saying? This is Bella we’re talking about. I know exactly what she was thinking. That one look at Dev and I’d realize the error of my ways, and the wedding would be back on before you could say “Canapés, champagne, and a sit-down buffet for a hundred and thirty!” This is the way my sister’s mind works. Something goes wrong, you just pull your sleeves up and fix it.

I call off my wedding to the love of my life, she just pulls up her sleeves and fixes it.

But there isn’t any fixing this, Julia. There isn’t any fixing me. There isn’t any fixing of the things I’ve done.

Oh, shit, Dev is calling me. He’s calling me RIGHT NOW.

I’m not going to answer. I’ve not answered his calls in six weeks. I don’t need to start now.

Oh, thank God, it’s stopped.

Look, if you do happen to get this, maybe you could give me a call? Drop me an email, even, with some of your much-needed pearls of wisdom? Either way, I’d be so gratef

OK, now Dev is calling me again.

This time he’s doing our Code. Two rings, hang up. Two rings, hang up. He used to do it when he was calling me from work and his landline number would come up Withheld. I have a habit of screening calls, you see—too many years spent owing people money or forgetting to pay my bills—but I’d always want to pick up if it was him.

I suppose, if I’m being honest, I want to pick up right now.

Maybe it’s because he did our Code. Maybe it’s because it’s Christmas. Maybe it’s because he looked so lovely, standing on Bella’s doorstep, wearing the coat I picked out for him in the sale last January, and the check scarf we bought to keep out the unseasonable cold when we spent this past Easter in Vermont. Maybe it’s because I feel so bad about running away from him earlier. About running away from him at all.

And there are things—you know, Julia, what things—that I know I owe it to him to explain. Seeing him tonight, even just for a couple of moments, seeing him all Dev-like and cozy in his coat and his scarf … it made me wonder if he just might understand after all.

Two rings again, now silence.

Right, here’s what I’m going to do. If he rings again, I’ll take it as a sign. And I’ll pick up. Even though you’re not here to advise me what to do, I’ll pick up. Just to talk to him. And maybe I won’t explain anything. Maybe I’ll just listen to his voic

OK, it’s ringing again. Got to go.


Polly x

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Readers will delight in McQueen’s lovable cast, the dynamics of Grace’s escapist romance, Bella’s understated affection for Liam, and Polly’s emotional revelation.” —Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Holly McQueen is the author of four novels—The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder, Fabulously Fashionable, Confetti Confidential, and There Goes the Bride. She lives in London with her husband.

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There Goes the Bride: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Friends as close as Bella, Grace, and Polly should be able to tell each other everything. Right now, they are not telling each other anything especially Polly who has decided at the last minute to not get married. She has come home to London only to reveal that there is something wrong but don’t ask what it is because she is not talking. Bella is trying to help her sister Polly by getting her back together with the fiancé. All this while working through her issues with “the boyfriend” as he tells her he wants to be with her and supports her he never around when she needs him the most. Grace is a young mother of two trying to fit in to a place she has never belonged, married to a man she believed was going to love her for life. When the dreams of youth become the reality of married life Grace finds companionship and the affection she is starved for in the arms of another man. The guilt she feels over this deception is unbearable but the attention the man pays her out of bed as well as in overwhelms her with fulfillment. Polly is the center of everyone’s attention and trying to establish what went wrong the drove her upcoming nuptials off the track. She won’t talk, refuses to see the befuddled fiancé, and does her best to avoid seeing anyone that cares about her. Polly has always been the levelheaded one and now that her life is crumbling around her, it seems to be pulling everyone that loves her into the quick sand with her. Holly McQueen can tell a tale by drawing the reader into the story so completely it feels as what is happening somehow involves you. The characters are flawed and perfect at the same time due to real life issues they are dealing with. We want love to last forever but will it?
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two sisters and one best friend each take turns telling this story of how one moment in time can change lives forever and how forgiveness can take such a big role in how we operate on a daily basis. The men in this book were mostly unappealing, so if you are looking for a swoon worthy character, there was only one in my book that I wanted to hear more and more about! The three different women were all going through a struggle that most women can relate to - starting a family, a struggling marriage, and hesitant to commitment - I loved the authors approach to each and thought she presented them each fairly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
think the cover of There Goes The Bride is steller. This is my first novel by Holly McQueen. After reading the blurb I was hooked. I thought this story would be told from Polly's point of view. But it was told from the view of Grace Polly's best friend and Bella Polly's older sister. I was surprised at how much I liked reading the story from their point of view. Okay Polly calls off her wedding a month before it takes place. Grace and Bella want to help Polly and fix her problems. The only problem is Polly is not talking to anyone. I have to say my mind was thinking all kinds of reasons for Polly to call off the wedding. I was a bit frustrated that I had to wait till the very end to find out why Polly called off the wedding. I was not surprised by what she did I was surprised with who. I liked getting to know all three girls. This story is filled with secrets, lies, cheating, deceit, misunderstandings, love, loss, heartbreak, forgiveness and happy ever afters. Overall a fun read. I would like to read more from Holly McQueen! Just FYI~ This book does contain swearing and reference to sex but no detail.
blondeecakes More than 1 year ago
I love Holly McQueen- her looks are fun, with characters which are relatable, even across an ocean. This one had a pretty interesting twist!
Celticlady1953 More than 1 year ago
There Goes The Bride by Holly McQueen is a story about three very different women Polly, Grace and Bella. Polly and Bella are sisters and Bella is making all the arrangements for Polly's wedding as Bella is also a caterer. When she goes to the airport to pick up Polly, who is moving back to England from New York, Polly is nowhere to be found. When Bella does finally find her sister, Polly tells her the wedding is off and will not tell her why. Bella is a caterer and has a boyfriend who leaves a lot to be desired and is in the process of trying to adopt a child. Bella was in a terrible car accident and is unable to bear children, so with trying to do all the right thing for the adoption and getting her sister to talk about why she called off the wedding, she also has to contend with a good looking guy who is staying in her flat at the request of her boyfriend. Grace is wife to a man who to me is a real jerk and a bully, ordering Grace around and belittling her at every turn. She had been his secretary and he left his wife to marry Grace. They have two children and she is pretty much ostracized by the mothers at her kids school. She accidently meets a wealthy good looking man and starts to have an innocent relationship with. Things turn serious and steamy when she finally has enough of her husband. All three of these women's lives are drawn together in this delightful novel. This story has a little bit of everything in it, raising children, marriage, infidelity and lots of humor. A fast paced fun quick read, perfect for the beach. I loved it and recommend it to anyone who are fans of Jennifer Weiner or Sophie Kinsella.
l_manning More than 1 year ago
Bella and Grace are ready for the upcoming wedding of Polly, Bella's sister and Grace's best friend. When Polly shows up in London declaring the wedding to be off, it throws Bella and Grace into tailspins. They can't understand why it happened. Of course, Bella and Grace have problems of their own. Bella desperately wants a child, but she can't have one of her own. Her slacker boyfriend is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of adoption. Grace meanwhile is stuck in a loveless marriage with an older man. When an attractive billionaire (and her husband's boss) begins to show interest in her, Grace's problems really start. In the end, Bella and Grace will have to solve their own issues before they can even begin to help Polly. If you're looking for fun, quick reads, this is a great pick. There are some interesting issues at the root of the problems in this book though. Grace is a trapped in a marriage that seemed really great at first and has dropped off since then. Add two rambunctious kids into the mix, and a less than supportive husband seems even less great. Bella on the other hand can barely get a commitment from her flaky boyfriend. Bella is trying to go through the process of adopting a child, but her boyfriends antics aren't helping. When he invites one of his mates to stay with Bella without even asking, things go downhill. Grace and Bella both seemed a bit trapped in their situations. I waffled between feeling horrid for them and just wanting them to take control of their lives and move on. I think that neither one really felt they could do better than the situation they were in. Polly had the most complex issues of them all, and it was directly tied into what was going on with Grace and Bella. I don't want to spoil anything, so that's about all I can say about that. It was a neat way to tie the two different storylines together. I found myself drawn to Bella more than Grace, which surprised me as I felt she was too hard on herself in the beginning. I think Grace's decisions put me off of her a bit. The great thing was to see growth and change in all the characters by the end. Of course, Grace's inability to fit in the with the other mom's at school was something I really related with. This book was not as escapist as I expected it to be, but I feel that's a good thing. I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in Grace, Bella, and even Polly. While it's not complete fluff, it's definitely full of fun. There are some really hilarious parts. So if you are looking for a book that is fun while still being something you can relate to, definitely check this book out. Book provided for review.