Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Undertaking Love

By Gail Allison

Imagine a little white wedding chapel in a charming, sleepy British town. Now imagine that it’s run by Marla: a love-phobic wedding director who has no plan to settle down herself, but is completely committed to helping her clients have their own Happily Ever After moments. And then plunk a funeral home next to it, right where Marla expects a bakery – the perfect complement to her little wedding chapel – to settle in. Naturally chaos is about to ensue, especially when the funeral director comes over to introduce himself. All sparkling eyes, black hair, and Irish brogue, Gabe has gone into the family business of funerals, and doesn’t see a problem with settling in next to Marla’s homegrown business. And the fact that Marla is completely adorable doesn’t escape him. Throw in an over-the-top wedding planner who is as flamboyantly gay as he is loyal to Marla and her business and a scheming assistant at the funeral home who wants nothing more than to have Gabe all to herself, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Can the two clashing businesses (and their respective owners) find a happy middle ground, or are they going to divide the town in two with their turf wars?

Undertaking Love, by Kat French, was a fun book with a few laugh out loud moments sprinkled throughout, as well as some moments that really tugged at the heartstrings. I found that one of the best points of this novel was the fact that the secondary characters were very well fleshed out. Nearly every member of the supporting cast had their own backstory, their own issues, and their own drama. It made for a much more interesting story than simply having one-dimensional characters that are just hanging around to support the main story line. The well-developed characters did add some confusion to the mix, though. I found that there were so many characters, all with their own problems and partners and issues that the novel tended to get a bit muddy at times. It made it tough for me to pick up again after I had put it down, as I generally had to go back a page or two to figure out who we were dealing with and what was going on, exactly.

That being said, this is a nice, easy read, and if your life is slightly less chaotic than mine and you can commit a few days to a novel, I’d recommend Undertaking Love to you. It’s a lot of fun, and the situations brought forward in it really do run the gamut from tear-jerking to snickering out loud. Honestly, the only issue I had with this novel was the fact that there were so many characters and situations that I’d lose track of who was doing what if I put it down for a few days. The volume of detail, combined with my habit of reading no less than five books at a time, combined to muddle the details in my head at times. But maybe that’s just me.

Thanks to HarperCollins UK for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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