Monday, 14 December 2015

Book Review - A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby

Amazon UK
Title:  A Wedding at Christmas
Author: Chrissie Manby
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 19th November 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

What comes to mind when you picture a wedding at Christmas? A gorgeous white dress accessorised with a thick velvet cape... bridesmaids in red velvet too? An arch of Christmas greenery: holly and ivy and boughs of fir. Candles and fairy lights. Snow!

Chelsea Benson has just twelve weeks to organise her perfect winter wedding. Her family and friends pitch in to help, but sisterly squabbling, issues with money and an Ice-Queen mother-in-law soon threaten Chelsea's plans for her big day. And that's without the firework fiasco...

Rescuing Chelsea's dream of a proper family wedding might just take all the magic of Christmas...

A Weddding at Christmas is a proper farewell to the Benson family. This is as far as I know the last planned book about this wonderful family, and as such it is left without many loose ends, and in some respects comes full circle. 

This book will definitely work as a standalone, as all the key moments of the previous books have been mentioned in passing, and the family tree at the front of the book is useful too, not only to newcomers, but also to returners to the family, as its a quick and easy way to remind yourself, who is connected to who. Of course if you haven't read any of these, I would recommend you start the series at the beginning, as they are all a brilliant as each other, and better combined. 

Once again this book is written in lots of very short chapters, so even if you are busy, you could fit in a quick chapter or two in between going about your daily life, and still move the story along. Each chapter has a heading telling us who the focus is on in it, which is very helpful when you have four generations, and many different characters stories needing to be heard. But it is not confusing at all and you will soon settle into a nice easy rhythm of reading this book and ignoring the outside world.

I will admit there are elements in this book, that I could see coming quite a bit before they occurred, but it didn't really bother me, as the storytelling is so great, I wanted to see the characters reactions to certain events. 

There are many laugh out loud moments in A Wedding at Christmas, and as you would expect from the Benson family, nothing ever runs smoothly, especially not a wedding being put together in only 12 weeks, with Chelsea, Ronnie and Annabel all having such different opinions on what a wedding should be. Family tensions are high, add in Chelsea meeting her fiancee's dead wife's parents for the first time, and all manner of other dramas. 

I'm surprised that this book wasn't called A Proper Family Wedding, as that is exactly what it was, but a wedding at Christmas, with a festive feel to it. 

I have loved every second of this book, and in fact of this whole series, and really can't wait to see what treats Chrissie Manby has for us next. A Wedding at Christmas is a fantastic story about family, friendship, pulling together in times of need, and most importantly of love.  

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