This book is written by Olivia Ryan (Sheila Norton) and it is the second in a trilogy. The first book is Tales from a Hen Weekend and the third is Tales from a Honeymoon Hotel. The only one I haven’t read is Tales from a Hen Weekend, to complete the trilogy I’ll read it soon.
This book is well written and I like how British it is. You can just feel the authentic British-ness in the way they speak and in their behaviour. Ryan really captured that well. If you’re not British but want to get a taste of what it’s like in some British families this book will be a good one for you.
It is written in first person and present tense, which is one of the harder tenses to write in but Ryan does it well. The chapters are organised by time with flashbacks here and there. The way it’s put together is very creative and she, Ryan, managed to do it in a way that was not boring.
The characters are very real which means you’ll both like them and dislike them. They are like real people and so they have flaws as well as strengths. Even though we get the story from one point of view everyone gets a fair representation.
The main character Abby is a bit of a control freak in the book. She’s tense and she doesn’t know how to enjoy the moment. It’s understandable that as the maid of honour she’d want the day to go perfectly but then she starts stressing about things she can’t control and it’s like, “Abby! Calm down!” But then she’s kind, organised and a good person when she’s not stressing.
And I could do the same with all the characters. They are all flawed but they also all have redeemable qualities which makes it fun to read.
The themes of the book are friendship, love, children and forgiveness. Forgiveness is probably the biggest theme. It ties everything together and is the biggest huddle the protagonist has to overcome. Even though it’s the protagonist who has to overcome it I felt like I was also being challenged to forgive. It was interesting.
The theme of friendship is the second biggest theme. This one is obvious from the beginning. Sam and Abby friends for life, and really you explore their friendship from school days to the wedding day. You also explore the different kinds of friendship that exist.
Overall I give this book a four out of five. It was fun, annoying and I learnt some good lessons from it. The plot twists are also the best. I remember the first time I read it I did not see the twists coming. I also recommend Tales from a Honeymoon Hotel, that one is an eye opener about marriage.