Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern-day Adaptation of Persuasion
SETTING: Charleston, South Carolina wedding season (April through September)
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elliot Lynch (wedding planner/soon-to-be reality TV star), Eric Warner (bachelor billionaire and creator of an über-successful web app), Sadie Warner (Eric’s sister and bride-to-be), Marissa (cousin to Elliot and producer of The Marrying Type reality TV show), Heloise (sister-in-law to Marissa and bridesmaid to Sadie), Smyth (Elliot’s long-time college friend)
SYNOPSIS: While preparing to take over the family business for her soon-to-be-retiring father, Elliot Lynch discovers the terrible but true financial status of Engagements, their wedding and event planning business… The fact that their family home is mortgaged and they haven’t made any payments in months prompts Elliot to agree to be on a wedding planner themed reality show produced by her cousin Marissa. If Elliot thought having cameras following her around while she put out fires and handled wedding drama would be the biggest challenge of her summer, she was wrong… A big and important client has just asked for help planning their wedding, but the problem with this client is Elliot has a past relationship with the bride’s brother. A past relationship that ended with her breaking his heart more than eight years ago…
WHAT I LOVED:
- An Ode to Persuasion: Even before reading this novel I was in love with the premise. A modern-day Persuasion where Elliot Lynch (Anne Elliot) is a wedding planner. How perfect! If there is any Jane Austen character that the saying “always a bridesmaid (or wedding planner), never a bride” could be applied to, it would be Anne Elliot. I just knew this premise was going to work well.
- Brilliant Echoes and Clever Reincarnations: Where to begin? Since this novel is all about weddings and reality TV, it doesn’t bear such a strong resemblance to the plot of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. As a result, the nods and parallels are much more subtle. Readers might not realize all the allusions and echoes straight away, but when they do they will definitely be impressed with the author’s imagination, creativity, and skill. Some of my favorite reincarnations include: Mrs. Smith, Louisa Musgrove’s fall, William Elliot’s schemes, and Anne’s conversation with Captain Harville.
- Wedding Drama and Debacles: Whether it is dress fittings, cake tastings, bachelorette parties, or dance classes, the reader is drawn into and immersed in the world of weddings! Such spectacular fun! It was immensely entertaining to witness all the contention, chaos, and crises that can occur around weddings. And it was definitely apropos for Elliot Lynch to keep a level-head and save they day in her calm and unruffled manner.
Epigraphs and Promos: Elliot may hate to hear another person say this – but I adored the wedding quotes! Many of them were new to me and became ones I want to save and remember. I also loved how some chapters ended with excerpts of The Marrying Type TV transcript, it gave readers a taste of what the reality show was going to look like – what angles they would play, what stories they picked up on, what was being seen by the cameras. Both were brilliant touches that enhanced this story’s appeal.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Hmmm….It’s Almost There: Not a major complaint and one that’s a little challenging for me to articulate. I felt the romance between Elliot and Eric was almost everything I’d want it to be. There was a painful past, misunderstandings, and undeniable chemistry, but sometimes I found myself wanting a little more tension or sparks for them. In addition, the resolution seemed a little hurried, I definitely felt there should be a little more…
CONCLUSION: A lovely and inventive homage to Persuasion! But you don’t have to love and be familiar with Jane Austen’s Persuasion to find The Marrying Type an entertaining, charming, and enthralling read! This is one wedding invite you should accept with great pleasure!