Carol and Jessica are best friends from Ireland. They each have very different personalities, so when Jessie announces her and Mike are getting married, Carol decides it's time she got married too and persuades Jessie to have a double wedding.
Carol's boyfriend Gary really doesn't want to get married, but Carol has a manipulative personality and manages to get her own way regardless of the consequences. Jessie and Mike equally don't want a double wedding as they know what Carol is like, but Carol gets her way and Jessie gives in, much to her annoyance.
I bought this book when I was on holiday last year for something to pass the time with. It's a long book at 528 pages, but it has an easy readability about it, which makes the book easy to pick up and put down when needed. This is a good job as I only finished reading it a few days ago in-between other books. I still managed to know what was going on despite delving into other characters and books in between.
We learn a lot about the two girls in the book, and see instantly that Carol will be the dominant character. What we don't find out until very near the end is why Carol is truly like she is. There is a reason behind everyone's actions, and because of this I think Scanlan focuses slightly more on Carol's character than any of the others.
We meet the respective partners, Gary and Mike in the book, and there are family characters f both girls that dip in and out as the book passes.
I instantly didn't like Carol very much and this was a shame as I think she was portrayed slightly too harsh.
The book is set in Ireland which is where Patricia Scanlan is from. There are some Irish phrases and words that I wasn't familiar with when reading the book, but did make me chuckle at some of the slang words used in the text.
I did feel as a reader that I was there with the girls a lot of the time, and this proves to me that the author has managed to grip me in and get my attention. Despite leaving them and returning months later, it was nice to read on and find a happy ending for the girls. I did wonder where Scanlan was going to take the ending, as there were a few ways it could have gone. I wasn't expecting the ending that was actually written so was pleasantly surprised at this. Though there was still a cheesy feel good factor added in on the last pages.
I felt the book could have been slightly shorter by cutting out some of the earlier scenes between the two couples. There were some situations that could have been edited and we would still know all the characters and the storyline just as well. That for me I think is why I kept putting the book down and returning to it again.
Overall a nice easy read though when you don't want to concentrate.
Price: £5.89 (Amazon)
"Double Wedding" is a book by Patricia Scanlan, who is an Irish author, writing mainly in the 'Chick Lit' genre of books. Having read a few of her novels before, and always having enjoyed them, I picked up this paperback at a car boot sale recently for the sum of 30 pence.
** STORY **
Jessica and Carol are two young women who have been best friends since their childhood days. Both girls are engaged to be married, but are involved in very different relationships in terms of trust and commitment.
When Jessica announces a date for her upcoming nuptials, Carol panics and suggests the girls have a double wedding, to which her friend eventually agrees. The only problem is, Carol's fiancé has a wandering eye and a reluctance for commitment, so she knows she will have a battle ahead when it comes to getting him down the aisle...
Jessica is reluctant to share her big day with her friend, but feels guilty about Carol's unhappiness and eventually gives in to her requests. Sensing that trouble lies ahead in her friend's relationship, she can only hope that things settle down in time for the joint big day...
Each of the girl's families is not without its personal dramas, and Carol in particular is concerned about the fact her mother and father are separated and not on good terms - which one of her parents can she invite to her big day? And who is going to walk her down the aisle? Furthermore, Carol's sister is a wild teenager who drinks like a fish and displays disruptive behaviour, hardly the ideal wedding guest...
Will Carol's family come to blows? Can her relationship make it to the altar? And can her friendship with Jessica survive a Double Wedding?
** MY OPINION **
I found that this novel was a thoroughly enjoyable read from the start. I found that the main characters, in particular the two main girls had enough depth to them to make them believable and each of their personalities was described in enough detail by the author to stir a feeling of sympathy with me when I was reading about the difficulties each of the two girls was facing.
The writing style employed by the author made the book very easy to read in that the 'flow' of the story was enjoyable and entertaining. This surprised me given that the book is written from the different perspective of each of the characters, and so it jumps about from character to character quite a lot. I find that when reading books with this layout, from time to time they are difficult to follow and jump about far too much, but not so with 'Double Wedding'. The author has executed the story in such a way that we are able to follow the plot quite easily.
Having read many books by this author before, I find that she had a definite knack to have us grasped by the story from the very first chapter, and this book was no exception to this rule. The first chapter has us thrown right into the 'depths' of the story and as a result we are hooked, eagerly reading on to see what happens. A very clever tactic employed by the writer, but also an enjoyable experience for the reader, as there isn't too much time given in 'setting the scene' and instead the story unfolds before us quite quickly, making the book have a bit of an addictive flair to it.
I found that my opinion of one of the main characters, Carol changed quite a lot throughout the book. We are shown time and time again that the girl is very selfish, and she takes advantage of other people, manipulating them if necessary. I found it interesting how my opinion of these points didn't change, but I found I was starting to develop a bit of sympathy towards the girl, as more of the girl's background became evident. I think that this shows the writer's talents, as in my opinion, not every author would have been able to pull this off to the same extent.
There are a whole host of more minor characters throughout the book and whilst we don't get to read about them as often as the others, the author has cleverly brought each of them into the story enough, so that the whole plot is left without any 'holes' or unanswered queries. Even though some of these minor characters didn't feature in the main story all that much, we were left in no doubt as to their individual personalities, or the part they had to play in the whole storyline coming together. To me, this was done very effectively, and again shows the author's writing skills and talent.
I have to be honest and say that this book didn't have a huge impact on me personally, but to be fair I don't think it is really THAT type of book. In keeping with a lot of other books in the same genre, I felt that the author provided a bit of light-hearted reading, and the book certainly provided enough enjoyment to keep my attention until the end. As it is over 630 pages long, I think it is fair to say that other books would have been dumped long before the end if this wasn't the case.
All in all, I would recommend the book to anyone who is a fan of the Chick Lit genre, and any Patricia Scanlan fans wouldn't be disappointed by what 'Double Wedding' has to offer. I found it to be an enjoyable read all the way throughout the book, and I would award it five Dooyoo stars for its credible storyline and believable characters, and for the fact that the book kept me hooked until the last page.
COVER PRICE: £6.99
The book is currently available for sale on www.amazon.co.uk for the price of £5.20 (new copy), and from £0.01 (used copy).
Jessica and Carol, two childhood friends, are both engaged to be married. Secretly afraid her fiance is going to chicken out, Carol is insisting on a double wedding. Jessica is appalled at the idea: she doesn't want to share the happiest day of her life with whining Carol and her womanising boyfriend. Unfortunately for her, she has a very soft heart and is easily persuaded to agree. Carol's parents are separated and at loggerheads. Neither wants the other to be there. Who will win that war? Nadine, Carol's younger sister, is wild and disruptive and drinks like a fish - hardly the ideal wedding guest. Will Carol's family come to blows? Will her fiance do a runner? Will they make it to the altar? And can Jessica and Carol's friendship survive a Double Wedding?