Book: A Wedding in Provence
Author: Ellen Sussman
Synopsis: The first to arrive is Nell, Olivia’s oldest daughter from her first marriage. Impulsive and reckless, she invites a complete stranger to be her guest at the wedding—an enigmatic man who is both alluring and a bit dangerous. The next is Carly, Olivia’s youngest daughter, the responsible and pragmatic one. Away from her demanding job and a strained relationship, she feels an urgent need to cut loose—and for once do something brash and unpredictable. Then there is Jake, Brody’s playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody’s mother, who is coping with the fallout of her own marriage. And in the middle of it all is Olivia, navigating the dramas, joys, and pitfalls of planning a wedding and starting a new life.
A delicious, escapist, and utterly enchanting novel, A Wedding in Provence captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love.
My review: Going into this book, I knew that it would be a wedding type book. I knew that it would be set in a beautiful part of France. I knew there would be some drama. I got all of that plus more. I thought that it would be focused on the wedding and less on the character development or the scenery, but I was happily wrong.
I’ve never been to France but Sussman makes it so easy to picture the scenery. Her writing was spectacular in this book. It’s hard to picture a place that you’ve never been without great description and that’s what I got in this book. If I ever thought I didn’t want to go to France, then now I definitely do. Not only did the fabulous writing help the scenery, but it helped with the character development. With timely flashbacks to Pre-Wedding, I got to know more about the characters and see how they ended up at the end. Every character seemed to grow in their own way.
Some characters grew up; some characters grew out; and some characters grew in. Carly grew out. She was always the quiet one, but by the end she was taking up the space she finally saw that she deserved. She became selfish and impulsive. She did what she needed to do. I enjoyed watching her development and growth the most. Nell grew in. She realized it’s not all about her and that she is not the only one hurting. She was always self destructive and raw. By the end, she found out what was important to her and that she needed to work to get it. Jake, Brody’s longtime best friend, didn’t get a huge spot in this book but I definitely think he grew up. He had his moments where I wanted to beat him up and he had his moments where I might have high-fived him.
The greatest part about this book for me was that it was more than just a book about a wedding. It was about a family growing together while all of them are going through rough times while they are going through as awesome time. The story, for me, was more about the sisters coming together and being there for each other when they needed it most. It was more about the story of two older people finding love again after losing it before. It’s about changing yourself if you don’t like who you are. I went into this book thinking that it would be a light summery beach read and I got life lesson as well, so I would call that a win.
I also enjoyed that this book was about older people falling in love. Brody and Olivia are in their 50’s and are getting married in France. How perfect is that? My dad is in his late 40’s and is getting married next year so I read this at the perfect time. It’s nice to see a book that focuses on older people that especially older people that are starting over in a way.
Carly reminded me of Lena in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She’s quiet and reserved and then finally breaks out and becomes who she always wanted to be. Nell reminded me of Bridget in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Lucky for me, those are my two favorite characters. I saw obvious parallels Carly and Lena; and Nell and Bridget.
I would suggest that if you’re going to read this book: have google translate open if you don’t know French. I only know the very basic words and there was some French in this book which I had to look up. Obviously the book is going to have some French because they are in France. I’ve also decided that I want to learn French but I highly doubt it would go well.
Really, this was a fantastic book and I highly plan on looking for more things by Ellen Sussman. She is a great writer and writes awesome characters. This was such a strong book that I could relate to.