Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella: Book review

Drink with this:


Served in pitchers at even the scuzziest of bars, *cough, Wetherspoons, cough*, it’s the cocktail for girls who want to get drunk quickly on something pink and sweet. Vodka, peach schnapps and cranberry juice, diluted by watering ice cubes and a lonely shrunken slice of lemon. Sugary and inoffensive, it will get you giddy but you’ll feel a bit sick after a few.

What's what

Loyal readers, I sense this may be a schism-causing review. I am willing to bet good money (NOT REALLY, I HAVE MINUS POUNDS TO MY NAME) that nobody reading this review within a week of its original publication has ever read a Sophie Kinsella book.

So why, you ask, am I writing about her latest novel, the suggestively titled Wedding Night? The reasons are several my friends: I must acquaint you with a world you know not of, in which women eagerly anticipate the publication of each instalment of Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, in which these women read no books from year to year which cannot be purchased at Asda.

I am too pretentious and have too many highfalutin aspirations to every truly be one of those women, but I do like to slum it from time to time in the pink shelves at Foyles, and I am not ashamed to say that I have read every book Sophie Kinsella has written. I have in fact enjoyed several so much that I pre-ordered Wedding Night so it would zoom straight to my Kindle the very day it was released.

After she’d gone out, we would intone the phrase to each other like some kind of religion. I thought it was a general toast like ‘Down the hatch’ and shocked a schoolfriend many years later, at a family lunch, by raising my glass and saying, ‘Well, drown the pain, everyone.’ Pg 36

Unfortunately this novel was far from Kinsella at her best. It had all the hallmarks of her usual work - witty interior monologues, feisty female characters, hijinks abroad and plenty of hunky men. (I know the word hunky is totally 90’s, but sometimes it just fits.) However the character development was thin at best, and the already flimsy plot - girl has sudden break-up, gets back together with old flame and decides to get married straight away, sister is horrified and tries to prevent them consummating the marriage by any means possible - becomes increasingly ridiculous and even boring in its implausibility towards the end of the book.
‘Don’t come back,’ he’s saying, waving his roll-up in the air. ‘I tell all you young people. Don’t revisit. Youth is still where you left it and that’s where it should stay. What are you returning for? Anything that was worth taking on life’s journey, you’ll already have taken with you.’ Pg 356

The book alternates between the point of view of main character Lottie, and her sister Fliss. Annoyingly though, their voices barely differed and although we were meant to believe their personalities were completely different, this never really came across through the writing style. I was happy that the main guy, who seemed a bit of a jerk, actually turned out to be a complete jerk. Successful characterisation! There were also some genuinely funny moments, and I did enjoy the theme of being unable to revisit the past; but sadly it just made me reflect that maybe my days as a Kinsella fan are no more.


Could almost have been written with an eye to the beach reads shelf in W.H. Smith.

On the big screen

Wouldn’t be surprised if a film adaptation was already in the works. It could be decent with a Hollywood budget. If of course by ‘decent’ we mean something any self-respecting human being would refuse to part with money to see.


It’s a cut above Jane Costello and most of the other chick lit out there but it’s not reinventing the wheel, or even the fluffy romance novel for that matter.

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