"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, and to make it seem real she dressed up in cheap wedding finery and posed on the steps of the registry office for photographs. 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, from the massive marquee to the sculpted ice swans filled with oysters. Her 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. Suddenly, her carefully constructed world is about to crash in ruins around her. How can she tell Simon she's already married? How can she tell her mother? But as the crisis develops, more secrets are revealed than Milly could possibly have realised..."
As I'm sure you all know, Madeleine Wickham is the real name of the much adored novelist Sophie Kinsella. So since I've read all the Kinsella novels and needed another fix, I decided to give Ms Wickham a try to see what her pre-Kinsella writing was like.
Firstly, it must be noted that I wouldn't have guessed that they are both the same person as I found Ms Wickham's work to be far less hilarious than her Kinsella novels. It was cute and lovely, but I did miss those ROTFLOL moments that Ms Kinsella provides in abundance (that's the main reason why I adore her books).
Nonetheless, The Wedding Girl was well written and enjoyable (as expected). The main character Milly was a tad too ditzy and not funny enough, but still likeable, albeit rather silly (she really thought something like *that* could be kept a secret forever?!). I liked how the various subplots were tied together and I think the author dealt with the topic of homosexuality in a very appropriate way. I didn't really have a favourite character, but I thought they were all well developed and contributed to the story, which in itself was not too gripping, but it still kept me reading as I wanted to find out how this improbable mess will be sorted out - and I loved the ending!
I must admit that I expected a rather different storyline from the first couple of pages and I'm so glad the author didn't take that road. On the whole, it was a pretty average read, but not one bit annoying and still quite enjoyable. One huge downside of this book is the cover - what on earth is up with that?! They could've done so much better.
One thing that these "two" authors do have in common are the fabulous leading male characters - surely I'm not the only one who aaaaalways falls in love with the male protagonists in Kinsella's novels? ;) Well, it appears that Ms Wickham has a knack for creating fantastic heros too and I must admit that I developed a small crush on Simon, hehe.
All in all, I wouldn't mind reading more by Ms Wickham, but I don't think I'll be in a hurry. It's a completely different story with Ms Kinsella though as I absolutely positively cannot wait to get my hands on Twenties Girl and I'll probably devour it one day!!! Judging by the first review, I shan't be disappointed!
Has anyone else read any other books by Madeleine Wickham?
Also, how weird must it be that everyone keeps addressing her as Sophie Kinsella when that's not even her real name, lol.