Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday Read: The Wedding Planner's Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

I don't have a picture of this week's book! Which isn't good really but if I get time I shall take one a bit quick and put it up. I'll put up my generic I've-Been-Reading one instead for now.


There. That's better.

This book is a total classic and a keeper. I'm reviewing this one today as I've not finished this week's book, plus I have so many of them that I plan to re-read a few old favourites and review them along the way. This not only keeps the series going but I get to read more. Bonus.

Anyway - where was I? This book is the first in a series of six - hoping for a seventh - about the life of Willa Havisham, a twelve year old girl who lives in Bramble, Cape Cod. She's moved to Bramble after her Mum has dumped her boyfriend. So far every time this has happened they've moved to another place on the map. Bramble also happens to her Mum's hometown, and where her Grandmother also lives. Mum now works as a wedding planner - creating dream weddings, ran precisely like a military operation, with twelve perfect ingredients all laid out on easels in her studio.

Willa is told to keep out of her Mum's studio, to stay away from weddings, to absolutely not dream of a Prince Charming to come and sweep her off her feet, and to study hard at school! Willa, thankfully, has other ideas and likes to watch from her little hiding place upstairs while studying. You might think Willa's Mum is quite strict and harsh, but sadly her husband (and Willa's father) passed away the day after her dream wedding in New York which left her absolutely devastated. Willa knows all about this - she knows about the heart shaped trunk which holds all their love letters and that sometimes her Mum sits crying in her room wearing her wedding dress while reading them. Willa knows about the father-shaped hole in her life - she wishes on her twelfth birthday that her Mum will find someone nice - and that Willa can finally have a dad!

There is so much to say about this book that I just cannot put into words - or I'd spoil the plot for you! This book is just fantastic. We follow Willa, her family and friends, as Willa tries to set her Mum up with her English teacher (and neighbour) Sam, as she makes friends and gets through tons of books (and chocolate covered cherries) - although initially there might be a fairly heavy subject matter of grieving it's dealt with in a sensitive way and it doesn't serve as the immediate theme of the book - Willa is a real go getter with big dreams and a big heart - and brilliantly funny and inspiring family and friends. I absolutely love the entire series of books - it's a modern day fairy tale and I cry at the end every time. Please read this book, it is excellent. That's all I can say!

You can buy this book here. (it's only now available for e-readers which is a bit of a shame really!)

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