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Isobel's Wedding - Sheila O'Flanagan

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Sheila O'Flanagan / Paperback / 608 Pages / Book is published 2006-05-01 by Headline Review

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      05.06.2009 16:26
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      Pretty good, but not the most riveting book I've ever read

      ***The Plot***
      Isobel is looking forward to marrying Tim ... until he backs out of the wedding with cold feet. A shell-shocked Isobel tries to piece things back together and thinks that she is doing a good job. Her boss has other ideas though and tactfully suggests that she apply for an administrative job based in Madrid. Is this the change that she needs to really get her life back on track?

      ***The Characters***
      For the most part, Isobel is a likeable character who commands a large degree of sympathy through her obvious pain at having her wedding cancelled a fortnight before the big day, and then being dumped too. There are moments though when she starts to irritate me, especially as she seems to struggle to understand that things really are over as far as Tim is concerned. Even though this type of weakness is quite understandable given the situation, I still find it quite annoying at how easily she lets her life fall apart around her until she arrives in Spain and promptly changes personality quite dramatically!

      Aside from Isobel, the other main character is Tim but he does not actually feature that heavily in the book as a character in his own right. Apart from the initial meeting in which he calls off the wedding and the subsequent meeting that sees him dump Isobel altogether, he makes a few sparse appearances when Isobel runs into him or calls round to see him, and does not really feature that much until Isobel returns from Spain.

      There are lesser characters such as Isobel's parents, her sister Alison, brother Ian, friend Julie and her colleagues (and once in Spain, her work colleagues and the people that she meets there) but they tend to drift in and out of the plot without us ever finding out that much about them really. There are some subplots to the main story involving Isobel though, such as Julie's romance. However, the main focus is on Isobel.

      ***The Writing Style***
      It is written in the third person, almost entirely from Isobel's viewpoint. This gives a very good indication of how she is feeling but I think at times it would have been interesting to get the perspective of other characters more. For example, Tim's reasonings at the beginning of the book, as all we really know is what the other characters say to Isobel.

      ***Overall Thoughts***
      Given my criticisms in the characters section, you could be forgiven for assuming that I disliked this book but this was not actually the case. Though Isobel did irritate me at times, I enjoyed the book in general and had to smile at the slightly ironic ending.

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