24 June 2009

Review: THE WEDDING GIRL by Madeleine Wickham ****

"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..."

(summary)

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.

21 comments:

chicklitreviews said...

Thanks for the mention of our review on Twenties Girl!

I have read a few Madeleine Wickham books but am not as keen on those as I am on her Sophie Kinsella books!

Elle said...

Hello! It's Elle from Trashionista - I've looked for an email address for you but can't seem to find one - would it be possible to email me as someone wants to contact you (re: books), It's elle [dot] symonds [at] gmail.com :)

Dot said...

oooh this sounds ever so interesting! Great review!

Meggin said...

Ooh, I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella's books... I'll definitely get this ASAP, thanks for telling us about it :)

P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog! L.A. Candy actually is pretty good, I was scared it would be cringey... I hope you like it :)

Cute blog =D
-Meggin, serendipityreviews.blogspot.com

Amy said...

I've read 'The Gatecrasher' and liked it. Was quite dark, but to be honest, and I'm not boasting, I could tell that it was written by the same author. It was good though. Would like to read more Madeleine Wickham!

Meggin said...

Oops, I forgot this was your blog *is embarrassed* I was wondering who's it was... I read so many, I get them mixed up :P
-Meggin (Serendipity Reviews):)

Alicia said...

I love Sophie Kinsella and was so excited to hear about her alter ego. I read one of her books (The Gatecrasher maybe?) and I didn't like it, so I just stopped reading! You definitely can't tell that they are the same author....is this worth reading?

bookalicious said...

Well, it's definitely not as fantastic as her Kinsella stuff, but I enjoyed it. Wasn't blown away, but wasn't annoyed either - I guess it was okay, I would recommend it!

Alicia said...

The cover is really nice for this book....I will definitely check it out!

bookalicious said...

Really?! I thought the cover was horrible and boring - I mean, how difficult would it be to stick a girl in a pretty wedding dress on a cover, lol? To each their own, I guess. :)

Alicia said...

It's so different from her other covers (which are also adorable), but I like it! :) Are there alternate covers? I don't remember seeing this cover before, unless I imagined other ones in my head - which is quite possible

bookalicious said...

I'm not aware of any other UK covers, but the book has been reprinted in the US with a much cuter cover, I think: http://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Girl-Madeleine-Wickham/dp/0312383436/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246664873&sr=8-1

Alicia said...

yeah that is definitely the one I have seen (thank goodness I'm not crazy!) This cover is similar to her other covers...if that makes sense.

bookalicious said...

Oh you mean her Kinsella books? Or her other Wickham novels? The last one would only make sense if you're from the US. ;)

Alicia said...

Yes, I'm in the US so all of her covers are similar (both Kinsella and Wickham)

bookalicious said...

Oh, now it makes sense because her UK MW covers are completely different and all booooring, as evident here: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/madeleine-wickham/ I usually think that UK covers are prettier than the US ones (sorry!), but in this case the US covers are definitely better!

Alicia said...

I actually agree with you about UK covers (no need to apologize!) Sometimes I am really tempted to order the UK version, but the shipping often deters me!

bookalicious said...

Oh, then I have some good news for you! ;) Guess what, there's this fabulous bookshop (UK based) that DOESN'T CHARGE DELIVERY. Yep, that's right, free worldwide delivery! Check it out: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ It's fantastic, I order all my books here (sorry, Amazon) and it really works! I don't know how they manage, but you actually pay just the price of books and that's it! I bought like 50 books with them in the past couple of months, lol. So anyways, if you're ever tempted to get the UK cover, then I definitely recommend this bookshop!!

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh - you are the best! I will definitely be checking this site out.

bookalicious said...

You really must! As I said it one of my earlier posts, this site is like feeding heroin to a junkie, it's so bad for me because the books are so cheap that I just can't stop ordering them!! Oh and I should mention that I don't live in the UK so I've learned first hand that the delivery really is free, whereas Amazon.com/.co.uk/.de would charge me biiiiiig bucks for the delivery, which in the end costed more than the books! Anyways, I just can't recommed this bookshop enough, it's my favourite thing ever! :D

Alicia said...

Seriously, free shipping is amazing! It will definitely be worth it I think! The Jodi Picoult covers are great over there (especially The Pact and Change of Heart!)

Also, I am intrigued by the Sarah Dessen covers - I can't decide if I hate them, or if I must have all of her books in matching covers! Yikes!

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