About A Wedding in Provence
What could be more idyllic than a wedding in Provence? That’s what Olivia and Brody think when they invite their closest friends and family to spend their wedding weekend with them. But when Olivia’s older daughter from her first marriage invites a man she met on the plane to join her, the delicate balance of the entire weekend is upset. Soon Olivia’s best friend, the owner of the inn who is hosting the wedding, discovers that her husband has cheated on her. Then Brody’s mother shows up without his father, who has gone into hiding. How can one choose love in the midst of chaos? Told from the point of view of Olivia and her two daughters, A Wedding in Provence is a moving novel about love, trust, secrets and family.
I am a Francophile, so the idea of spending time in Provence was a huge draw, I only wish more emphasis reflected the lush area. The framework of the narrative showed promise but ultimately fizzled. I was fascinated by the various personalities and their interactions, however, their far fetched issues, obnoxious and overall poor, inconsiderate behavior matched with actions was so over dramatized it became ridiculous.
Every single character had a major issue conveniently reaching its ugliness during the big weekend wedding – it becomes too much and I felt as if the author was capitalizing on her hopes for my stupidity veiled in oblivion. Honestly the melodrama is really implausible and preposterous. Olivia, Brody and Fanny were the only players I could barely tolerate, the rest grated on my nerves, especially Nell and Carly – two very immature late 20 something’s. The ending was your standard quiet after the pageantry storm, predictable. A fast read perfect for the beach for those partial to a plethora of serious family theatrics.
Ellen Sussman is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This. She is the editor of two critically acclaimed anthologies, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. She teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes.
Published July 15th 2014 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2014)