November 7, 2012

Three Women and a Wedding • There Goes the Bride

There Goes the Bride Holly McQueen cover
There Goes the Bride by Holly McQueen
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Polly Atkins has just done the unthinkable - she's called off her grand affair of a wedding. And she's not telling anyone why or changing her mind. Bella, Polly's older sister, and Grace, Polly's best friend, are determined to see the happy couple reunited. After all, it's a lot easier to focus on fixing Polly's happily ever after than chasing after their own...

Reading chick lit is one of my favorite things to do, especially when I need a break from my fantasy novels or issue books. There Goes the Bride is a fun chick lit novel, featuring multiple character narration and exhibiting a distinctly British flavor. 

This book is about Polly, but then again, it’s also not about Polly. The fact that she breaks off her engagement to the apparent love of her life is definitely one of the most important events in this novel, but she’s never actually the true focus of this story. Instead, the event becomes a catalyst in the lives of her older sister Bella and her best friend Grace – and we watch as everything unfolds quite organically. 

Bella is the older sister who means well when she butts into planning Polly’s wedding, and then when that falls apart, Polly’s reunion with her fiancé. Her character was extremely easy for me to relate to because I’m an older sister as well, and I could totally see myself butting into my sisters’ lives if I thought it would do them some good. 

However, with Bella, she doesn’t even give her own life a second glance until this crazy situation with Polly forces her into it. We see how she’s clinging on to the unhealthiest of relationships simply because she doesn’t want to have any heartbreak; this doesn’t help her need to settle down and raise a family. It’s fascinating to watch how she can have so much to say about Polly’s errant situation, but refuses to really focus on her own until things come to a head. 

Grace, on the other hand, struck me as a character that sounds young and posh. Unlike Bella, she’s married with two kids and raising her little family as best she can. Like Bella, however, she’s also settling for things without realizing that she’s neglecting herself. While I didn’t find her as relatable as Bella, I did find the way she ended up challenging the limits placed on her (and mostly by her own self) interesting. I would never have done what she did, but I can see where she’d think it was a logical course of action. 

These two women are completely different, and yet their stories are intertwined through their relationship with Polly. I love how the author was able to weave their individual tales together so well, as I never felt confused or shocked by the shift in POV. Plus, it was also helpful to have Polly’s own emails included in the narration, as we get hints of her side of the story! 

And as everything finally came to light – for all three characters – I felt a very big sense of relief and satisfaction. Things played out in a way that pleased me, and I needed that kind of ending at the time I was reading this book. I will say that the big revelation was quite a shock to me though! 

All in all, There Goes the Bride is not your typical novel about a bride who gets cold feet, backs out of a wedding and all because of some deliciously scandalous secret. In fact, this novel is not even about the bride at all but about two of the most important women in her life and their individual journeys to finally arrive at a point where they are sweetly satisfied with the people in and the state of their lives.


  1. This sounds like a great chick lit read. Lovely review Alexa x

  2. I don't generally gravitate towards chick-lit and only really fall into reading the occasional chick-lit book through accident. However, I do find it the perfect genre for a fun and easy escape! This sounds like it could be one of those reads for me. Great review, Alexa!

  3. This sounds like such a good read! I love chick lit ... it was one of the genres that I read quite a bit before I started blogging. And for some reason, I really love reading stories about weddings or broken-off weddings.

    Great review, Alexa!


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