Having thoroughly enjoyed Tamar Cohen’s debut novel The Mistress’s Revenge and more recently her foray into psychological suspense with The Broken I was keen to see what her third novel, Someone Else’s Wedding had to say for itself.
Tamar Cohen has a quite distinctive writing style which is full of observational humour and so the setting is perfect, after all there are very few occasions with such a rigid structure full of so many people who probably wouldn’t otherwise be in the same room.
‘You know what weddings are like for bringing out the Kate Winslet in everyone.’
Saul smiles at the private joke I have given him like a small present. Ever since we watched the actress picking up an award and unable to speak for sobbing, her name has become a kind of catchphrase between us.
This book is slightly different because while those moments of humour are still there this book has a fundamental sad tinge to it which doesn’t lend itself quite so well to humour and our chief protagonist Fran Friedman is prone to more than a little introspection. Fran and Saul have been married for many years, have two adult daughters but their marriage has been frayed by the fact that their late baby was still-born and secrets and resentments have built up to an untenable level.
Saul imagined my eggs had long since packed up their things and without fuss, taken up watercolour painting in St Ives or tending their own vegetable gardens. They certainly weren’t still doing the things eggs are supposed to do.
There are plenty of secrets to come out over the course of the extended weekend though as being a Bank Holiday one day isn’t enough for Jamie, son of Max and Lynn Irving and his bride the lovely Lucy. The book’s chapters each relate to the hours of the wedding and each one appears to hold a different secret or conundrum. Throughout the day Fran is receiving texts from an unknown number telling her to leave Jamie alone, Fran and Saul’s adult daughters have their own secrets which need to be dealt with all while keeping the mask of respectability firmly in place during the nuptials.
This was a good read, despite it not being as funny as I expected from the synopsis as it deals with some weighty issues. The characterisation was really well done, the relationship between Fran and her younger daughter Katy was a brilliant description of a loving yet sometimes critical mother and her slightly stroppy daughter, independent but not yet secure enough to make her way in the world without an admiring audience.
Though Katy is laughing she’s likely to store this up for future use, evidence of another maternal transgression I wish things weren’t like this with my younger daughter, so confrontational, but Katy has always needed to place herself at the centre of every thought I have, every action I take.
A good book, funny but not outrageously so, big issues and a good conclusion made this an enjoyable read so I am now going to complete the set of Tamar Cohen’s books by reading The War of The Wives.
I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This book was published in paperback in the UK on 22 May 2014.