Publication Date: May 2017
Review, short version: Four skunks out of a possible four.
Susan Mallery is, according to GoodReads, a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 25 million books sold worldwide. On Amazon her book, Daughters of the Bride, garnered 4.5 stars from 600+ reviewers.
Why, then, was I begging the book gods to PLEASE don’t make me keep reading this?
Daughters of the Bride is chick lit, and chick lit is defined as “books with heroine-centered narratives.”
So why, then, are the most likeable characters not female, but male?
In fact, the only likeable characters are male?
Because the book is riddled with cruel, degrading dialogue exchanged among the female characters who are family and – theoretically – care about each other.
I’ll spare you, because there’s no reason for you to suffer reading this like I did. The females are Maggie, the bride of the title, and mother of Rachel, 33; Sienna, 30; and Courtney, 27.
Maggie is obsessed with planning her pink-themed wedding, which she hopes will include live swans, dyed pink. (There’s an eco-friendly idea.) Rachel is divorced and has self-images issues; Sienna has a nasty mouth and a penchant for getting engaged but not married; and Courtney, who has a learning disability, is working as a hotel maid while secretly studying for her Bachelor’s degree.
Sienna to Courtney: “I’m surprised you know how to work a computer…You’re a maid. There’s not much call for being tech savvy when you’re cleaning toilets.”
Mom Maggie says, “I’m so proud of my daughters…and Courtney.”
And sisters Rachel and Sienna have coined a phrase to describe any kind of clumsiness or other physical mishap: “Pulling a Courtney.”
As for the likeable – well, less dislikeable – guys, one is Quinn. Or so I thought, until he gave Courtney a gift: peacock suede shoes with a pointed toe and four-inch heels. Courtney is six feet tall and has never worn high heels. By way of explanation Quinn says, “I’ve watched you walk. You hunch your shoulders as if you’re trying to be smaller. Maybe even invisible…You need to embrace your height.”
I had to wonder, was Quinn:
- Trying to change Courtney’s appearance to please himself?
- Trying to change Courtney rather than accept her as is?
- Trying to cripple Courtney with shoes known to cause foot and back problems?
How about: All of the above?
I hope Courtney tells Quinn where to shove the shoes.
I hope Courtney learns to dish it out instead of just taking it. I hope she gets her degree, and gets the hell out of town.
But I’ll never know because, in an act of self-preservation, I stopped on page 258 out of 400.
And that was 258 pages too many.