Hannah Tunnicliffe is on the blog today with the US release of her latest novel. Please read on for my review of
A French Wedding
Intrigued by the blurb and the teased wedding, I thought that the surprise bride and reconnection of college friends would provide a novel rich in depth and emotion, all backed up with the scenery and food. Unfortunately, from the beginning to end, this story was a mess. Third person voice for each character with no distinction between them made the story awkward: better suited to a third person omniscient narration. Then we add in characters – so flat as to be wooden, and utter stereotypes to boot. It’s fine to have one or two secondary characters that are “just” that, but when no effort to provide distinction or depth is evident, then I’m left frustrated, hoping that the dialogue may just give a bit of personality or oomph.
And then, the dialogue is wholly inappropriately phrased and felt as if it were ripped from the mid 1800’s: antiquated words (indubitably?!!), too much back and forth, repetition and no actual appearance of an emotional investment in the statements so casually bandied about. And while these are workable in the most part, if the story crafting and plot are moving forward, with big secrets and reveals appearing for each character, the story would have had some redeeming features. But, the ham-handed foreshadowing, the all tell no show writing and the absolute lack of forward motion with the plot all contributed to a lack of interest for this reader.
As I was reading, I kept wanting to skim and skip over the over-long passages that just felt like ‘filler’, none of those passages added to drive the plot forward, or bring a wandering thread around to a point. What I was left with was the feeling that this book was written to a word count, without consideration of characters, readers or an editor’s touch. Not a great introduction to this author’s work, but I find myself uninterested in trying another title.
Title: A French Wedding
Author: Hannah Tunnicliffe
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction
Published by: Doubleday
Published on: 6 June 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 hours
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Max is turning forty. All he wants for his birthday is for his six oldest friends to come to France to eat, dance, drink and laugh for one weekend. And to finally declare his secret, undying love for his best friend, Helen.
Juliette gave up her dream of owning an acclaimed Parisian restaurant to return to her tiny coastal village and nurse her aging parents. But she finds her home much changed, even the boulangerie where she first learned to love baking has fallen upon hard times. Now, as she tries to find her way to a new future, Max's birthday weekend may just provide the new beginning Juliette is wishing for... but at whose cost?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.