**Giveaway is now closed**
Planning a wedding usually carries its share of stress and chaos. There's a reason some women turn into Bridezillas, after all! In most cases, we take about a year to find the perfect dress, venue, DJ or band, cake, invitations, etc. In the case of Emily McKellips, there are only a few months to plan her dream wedding, leading up to a very long week before she takes her vows with the man whom she is supposed to spend the rest of her life. Of course, complications get in the way. It wouldn't be a wedding otherwise!
Emily made some mistakes in the past and one of them is about to catch up with her, right before her wedding day. While she and her fiancée, Grant, along with both their families, are spending the week leading up to their wedding in Valentine, Vermont, an unexpected visitor shows up....Ryan, her ex-husband from ten years ago. When she last saw him, he didn't have his life together at all. Now he's a successful movie producer, scouting a location for his next film. What are the odds of him being in Valentine right before Emily's nuptials? In the meantime, there are conflicts between the mothers of the bride and groom, and Grant's career is taking away focus from their special week. It's not helping that Ryan wants her to give their relationship another chance.
In The Week Before the Wedding, Beth Kendrick creates an adorable story about a topic I'm not normally keen upon....women revisiting relationships with past loves (or vice versa). To me, it's a cliché topic, even though I'm sure it's something that women think about, all those "what ifs?". This is only the second novel I've read from Beth, but I definitely plan to read others that she has written. (I already own a few of her past titles.) She gives a genuine voice to her characters, making them interesting and easy to relate to. Meanwhile, she kept me guessing throughout the story, given that one part of me wanted her to go on with her wedding and have the life she was striving for while the other part of me was charmed by the man her ex-husband had become. I could definitely see how conflicted Emily must have felt. I loved all the secondary characters who played a big role in the story. Emily's best friend, Summer, was quite a wild child and I know that Beth's next novel is about her, so it will be interesting to learn more of her story. The mothers were great and I loved what a contrast they were to each other and how Emily felt put in the middle of trying to impress her soon-to-be mother-in-law and not offend her own mother. Even the town of Valentine played a big role in the story, as it gave off a cozy and quaint small-town feel. It reminded me of the weekends I'd spend in St. Joseph, Michigan over quite a few summers. And, of course, we can't forget about the dog! Anyone who loves dogs will definitely love Ryan's golden retriever.
The only "complaint" I have is that things seemed to wrap up too neatly, but that's to be expected in fiction. I definitely recommend The Week Before the Wedding for an entertaining summer (or anytime of year) read.
Given that we're still doing "CLC goes to the movies" for International Chick Lit Month, I just had to cast this novel. (Who am I kidding?!? I will cast novels anytime the mood strikes!)
Emily: Isla Fisher (I pictured her the moment the story opened and that image carried throughout)
Ryan: Charlie Weber (I was watching 90210 around the time I was reading this novel and he was playing a big role at the time, so naturally I pictured him...)
Georgia (Emily's mom): Julianne Moore (Given that she's supposed to be somewhat young and have red hair, this just works. I could see her pulling off this role, given the diverse actress she is.)
Bev (Grant's mom): Fiona Reid (She played Ian's mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Grant: Chris Pine (He just has that guy-next-door success story look)
Summer: Anna Faris (She's a lot of fun to watch and I could see her fitting this role well)
Thanks to Penguin for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have a copy for one lucky US reader.
How to win:
Please tell us your favorite movie about a wedding (or favorite wedding scene from any movie).
One entry per person.
Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.
US only. Giveaway ends May 28th at midnight EST.
More by Beth Kendrick: