Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Not her best work
am 16. März 2015
Instead of getting engaged with her long-time boyfriend Richard, Charlotte "Lottie" Graveney is left humiliated, sad and most important of all: single. When her old flame Ben calls her and reminds her of an old pact they made when she had been only eighteen, everything changes: They promised to each other that they would get married if they're still single at thirty and now they're intending to keep that promise, to the great displeasure of Charlotte's big sister Felicity.
This novel is very light literature, but different from the novels I've read by Kinsella so far. The story is told from both the point of views of Lottie and Fliss in first person narration. Their voices are almost identical and it's hardly possible to distinguish their ways of telling the story. I would have liked it better if the novel just stuck with one narrator, because the dual narration doesn't seem essential to telling the story. Like this, we have two almost completely independent plot lines that seem premature: Lotti on her way to getting married and Fliss tagging along to prevent her from making mistakes.
There's Nothing Like the Love between Sisters
The main conflict in "Wedding Night" is that Fliss, Lottie's older sister, is convinced that it's a bad idea to marry someone that she's just seen again two weeks ago after not hearing a word from them for fifteen years. Because Fliss is so eager on trying to keep Lottie from making another grave mistake, she does everything in her power to prevent her from making them in the first place. On the one hand I'm tempted to say that Fliss is a very controlling and know-it-all kind of character. On the other, Lottie is sometimes portrayed as an extremely naive and wordly innocent woman and I salute Fliss for not losing her temper all the time. I definitely identified more with Fliss, because she's the more mature one, but I'm having a hard time playing favorites.
The tricky thing about the situation is that Kinsella shows us both sides. She shows us how desperate Lottie is to fall in love and how eager Fliss is to do everything in her power to make Lottie happy. Even if her definition of happiness differs from Lottie's.
I think it's definitely an achievement to display both sides so realistically that I felt torn and unable to decide whose approach is the best. I wasn't so sure whether I was on the wedding crasher side or the wedding enthusiast side.
Aside from Lottie and Fliss who narrate the story, we meet Richard, Lottie's ex-boyfriend and Lorcan, Lottie's new man's best friend. I had a hard time connecting to the men in this novel. They all remain very blank and aren't really explored as characters. While I do think that Kinsella is usually brilliant at character development with women narrators, her male characters and especially the love interests stay drab in this one. I had no connection whatsoever to neither Richard nor Ben and frankly I couldn't understand why they were both so obsessed with Lottie, because she clearly doesn't act her age. Judging from the way her sister describes her, Lottie is extremely immature, naive and doesn't seem very smart. I couldn't identify with her, I just felt like I was in a hidden-camera show sometimes. (Characters 2/5)
Cheesy Bubble Gum Humor
Kinsella is usually funny and makes me laugh a lot. In "Wedding Night" it was more along the lines of being uncomfortable. The jokes are lost on me. Some situations are just completely surreal- from Fliss using a condom as a makeshift model hot-air balloon for her son's school project to Nico doing everything in his power to prevent Lottie and Ben from having sex. You can just tell that some scenes were written for the sole purpose of comic relief and do not fuel the plot in any way.
While I'm not exactly a fan of it, the dual narration does come in handy when it comes to introducing characters:
It's twice the fun to have Lottie talk to a character and have that person meet Fliss in her POV in the next chapter and to spot how differently they perceive people. Sometimes the novel was a bit too bubbly and too slope, especially during conversations between the sisters. You can clearly tell whenever they're together that they don't have distinct character voices. They may have different personalities and thought-out back stories, but to be honest, when I didn't pay attention too closely I found myself asking whose POV I'm reading. I just couldn't tell their voices apart. (Writing 4/5)
Queen of the Stalling Technique
Maybe it's just me but this novel feels a lot like the movie "Mamma Mia", could be only because of the Greek island vacation-y vibe. And just like in every romantic comedy movie, the pacing is bit off in "Wedding Night" as well. You can read Kinsella novels almost always in one sitting, because her writing is just so light and easy.
"Wedding Night" has definitely issues with the pacing. It certainly could have all been wrapped up in less pages and stripped down to the essential. Five hundred pages for a chick-lit novel is definitely on the longer side, but I don't see any need for this novel to be this long, because the plot is fairly simple and not complicated at all:
Girl gets dumped. Girl is sad. Girl meets old love. Girl gets married. Sister doesn't like it. Sister will destroy this marriage.
Everything that happens in between isn't really relevant, but Kinsella is just a master at stalling. The side-plot romance and her side characters just seem to be filler. I didn't care about a single person in this novel. (Plot 1/5)
Overall: Do I Recommend?
There's many, many better Kinsella novels out there. This one feels like a cheap, hastily written rip-off of other novels she's written with characters that aren't likeable at all. The writing is excellent, but there should have been more work put into the characters and the plot line.