Review published on December 11, 2015.
I think a more appropriate title for Abby Clements latest novel would be A Summer Wedding followed by a Winter Wedding and an almost Caribbean Wedding. Admittedly though, it doesn’t have quite the same catchiness as simply A Winter Wedding. But there’s definitely more to the novel than just a winter wedding and in fact the winter wedding is arguably the least significant of the three nuptials that the plot revolves around and certainly secondary to the summer wedding of the heroine Hazel’s twin sister Lila.
And herein lies one of the problems for me with this narrative, that the three weddings – which I thought was a fantastic idea – are balanced really disproportionately so that the summer wedding gets much of the focus and the other two are largely brushed over. Clements packs so much into the novel that consequently some of it gets condensed, which was a shame as I would have loved to have seen more of the other two weddings (or more accurately the other wedding and nearly wedding).
Protagonist Hazel is a hugely likeable and endearing character and I enjoyed the fact that despite her having a twin sister, Hazel comes across very much as an individual and Clements didn’t feel the need for the reader to hear from both of them. There were hints, however, of an episode in Lila’s past that invited exploration but they remained only as hints and although it’s obvious what this is about, it felt as if this thread was curtailed. Similarly a couple of the male characters, Ben – Hazel’s brother, and Sam – Hazel’s best friend, and their relationships with Hazel were underdeveloped and again once the narrative had set these situations up I felt as if we were deprived of them. Having said all that, this is a relaxing, easy read and it’s nice to be lulled along in Hazel’s story. And the weddings do give the novel that magic and romance.
A Winter Wedding by Abby Clements
Simon & Schuster pbk Nov 2015