• Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

      Lottie just knows that Richard is about to propose when he asks her to meet him at a restaurant because he has something important to discuss. In fact, she is so sure she’s about to finally become engaged that she buys Richard an engagement ring. Imagine her surprise when Richard merely wants to discuss vacation plans, not honeymoon plans, just vacation plans. An argument ensues and Lottie is suddenly without a boyfriend much less a fiancé. That status doesn’t last very long ago, though, when old boyfriend, Ben, her teenage love from a summer spent on a Greek island appears and reminds her that they pledged to marry each other if neither had married by the time they were 30. The chemistry is still there and the two former teenage lovers decide to marry immediately. Lottie is nothing if not quirky and asks Ben to forgo physical contact until they are married so that they can experience a real wedding night. Since the wedding is to take place immediately Ben agrees. Lottie’s sister, Fliss, has just recently suffered through a divorce and doesn’t want her little sister to subject herself to the same pain, so she tries to talk Lottie out of her quick marriage. Ben’s friend Lorcan fears that Ben cannot afford to take time away from his business to get married at this point so he also tries to delay the marriage. When Ben and Lottie realize what Fliss and Lorcan are doing they immediately marry and leave for their honeymoon on the little Greek island where they met. Since Fliss and Lorcan can’t stop wedding their only recourse is to sabotage the wedding night so the marriage is not consummated before they can fly to the island. They are confident that if they can talk to Lottie and Ben they can get them to see the folly of their marriage. Hilarity follows as Fliss pulls out all the stops to interfere with the couple’s ability to finally consummate their marriage. Orchestrating everything remotely she is able to make the wedding night a nightmare thanks to the staff at the upscale luxury resort where Ben and Lottie are staying.

      Whimsical, lighthearted, charming, improbable but amusing. These are terms that can be used to describe both the plot and the main character, Lottie. This novel makes great escape reading because nobody’s life is that silly. It’s fun to watch Lottie concoct one hair-brained scheme after another in her pursuit of making her dreams come true. Readers can also take a virtual vacation as they experience the romantic setting of the Greek Isle both during Ben and Lottie’s teenage years in a hostel and on their honeymoon in a five-star resort.

      Lottie and the other characters are for the most part extremely likable. Jane Entwistle and Fiona Hardingham do an excellent job of bringing Lottie and Fliss and the rest of the characters to life. Mark Bramhall chimes in to offer comments in a manner reminiscent of, appropriately, a one-man Greek chorus. From the text of the book to the production of the audio presentation, Sophie Kinsella’s latest audiobook is delightful and highly recommended.

      Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
      Read by Jayne Entwistle, Fiona Hardingham, Mark Bramhall
      Random House Audio, unabridged: 13 hours on 11 CDs