Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella I’ve liked every other book that’s come from Sophie Kinsella, until this one. This novel has me divided. On one hand, I like the protagonists, the two sisters, both in their thirties. On the other hand, the story of those two sisters, the entire conflict is based on one triviality: un-slackened lust. If I was Shakespeare, I would’ve called this novel Much Ado about Nothing. The novel is really about nothing, or rather, as one of the characters aptly said, about “putting the sausage in the cupcake.”
The younger sister, Lottie, is ditzy and flaky. Her only goal in life seems to get married. She’s expecting the proposal from her beloved Richard; she tells everyone the proposal is coming… soon… today… during lunch… she can hardly breathe, but Richard has no inkling of her expectations. With her marital plans in disarray because of Richard’s inability to realize they’re destined to be together, Lottie breaks up with him.
Out of the blue, comes her former flame Ben. They were in love 15 years ago, when they were eighteen, spending the summer on a Greek island. When Ben proposes to her on their first date after 15 years, Lottie can’t say ‘No’. They get married and fly for their honeymoon to the same island where they first met.
The older sister, Fliss, is a much deeper person. Embittered because of her hellish divorce and worried about her seven-year-old son, Fliss is horrified by Lottie’s reckless, rebound marriage. Of course it’s a mistake. And when Lottie realizes that it is a mistake, there is another divorce on the horizon, as terrible as Fliss’s own. To save her younger sister from such a dire fate, Fliss does all in her power to sabotage Lottie’s honeymoon, especially her consummation of marriage. While the horny Lottie desperately wants to shag her new husband, Fliss’s agents make sure sex doesn’t happen between the newlyweds. Every step of the way, Lottie and Ben are dogged by misfortunes that prevent them from having an intercourse. Fliss hopes for an annulment for her little sister.
That’s the story in a nutshell. Of course, such a farcical plotline leads to lots of laughable situations, some of them hysterical, but if you look closer, the humor is shallow, focused on a feeble premise. Only the writer’s formidable skills – the writing is terrific in its expressive powers – saves this novel from being a low taste trash.
Most of the secondary characters are, not surprisingly, males, depicted with depth and affection. Each one has a distinctive personality, and together, they provide a fitting frame for the female protagonists.
Unlike other Kinsella’s books, this one is not as much a relationship story as a self-discovery story. Every character in the book is on a path of self-exploration. Because of the quality of writing and the well-defined characters, I’m giving this book 3 stars. But I’ll be wary when Kinsella’s next book comes out.