Friday, 15 January 2016

Tanya's Review: Four Weddings and a White Christmas by Jenny Oliver

Reviewed by Tanya Phillips

Hannah’s holidays are normally spent nibbling chocolate coins with her daughter and praying she’s not too old for a stocking on Christmas morning. But this year, she’s been offered the dressmaker’s job of a lifetime: creating a one-of-a-kind a gown for her friend Annie’s Christmas wedding on the picture-perfect Cherry Pie Island.

Many mince pies and one hot-pink organza dress later, Hannah is set to snuggle back into her old routine…until she discovers that there are three more weddings to come – and not a dress in sight!

Four themes, four brides and four parties spent avoiding chef Harry Fontaine, whose cynicism is as much a wedding day guarantee as confetti and cake. Hannah has her work cut out for her! Yet, with a sprinkling of snowflakes and Christmas magic, it could be that this is the year when miracles really do happen…if Hannah will let them.

Amazon link: Kindle

I love reading Christmas books in the build up to the occasion and this one was really good but it is not necessarily a book that has to be read at Christmas.  It actually covers a lot of the year and few of the main parts are set at Christmas.  The title is great and the cover attractive which is always a bonus.

The book focuses on Hannah who lives on Cherry Pie Island with her 5 year old daughter Jemima.  She has just finished a designer degree as a mature student when an old friend asks her to design her wedding dress.  During the build up and the consequent wedding she meets Harry, a famous chef, and there is a sign of chemistry between them that neither acts on.  The book centres on interactions between these characters over the coming year when they meet within their circle of friends.  Big things happen to Hannah in the year and there are changes in Harry about his family’s opinion of him.

I really enjoyed this book because it was not just a straight forward love story but a story with lots going on.  It showed both the characters in depth and how friendship circles can be a great introduction to others.  I really enjoyed seeing Hannah prosper through the book and begin to show some confidence in herself.  It just shows that you can achieve if you try hard.   

I must say that I loved the descriptions of the dresses that Hannah made and would love to have seen some pictures of them.  They invoke such romance and detailing that I would love to try on a wedding dress again.  I also loved the Christmas morning traditions and hope my girls have memories like that.  

Jemima is a lovely adventurous child that adds a great element to the book as you see Hannah as a career woman, mother, sister, daughter, friend and lover.   Let’s face it we all want to be great in all these aspects in life and with some challenges she manages to carry these rolls out to her best ability.

At first I was annoyed with Harry and his attitude towards his family but as the book progressed you understood why he did not visit his family much and why he behaves the way he does.  It was good to see the developments in that field!

If you enjoy a love story but not one that is immediate this book is a must.  I admit I am a fan of Jenny Oliver but this is not a biased opinion.  

I'd like to thank Tanya for reviewing Four Weddings and a White Christmas which we received from the publisher via NetGalley. 

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