Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie’s summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel’s expertise soon spreads.
But Hazel’s clients expect the very best – she’s promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say ‘I do’? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?
Having only ever read one book by Abby Clements before, I was unsure what to expect from The Winter Wedding. The last book I read was a short story and it was that long ago that I read it that I can’t remember much about it (sorry!). I needn’t have worried.
The Winter Wedding is, like most romantic fiction, a story of relationships. Clements not only focuses on romantic relationships but familial and working relationships too. The working relationships are shown through the cutthroat media industry and how main character Hazel is victim to her boss’s whims; the romantic relationships come in many forms: Lila and Ollie, Eliot and Gemma; mix Josh, Sam, Amber and Hazel in the mix it almost becomes a recipe for romantic disaster. However, for me, the strongest showing of relationship was the one between Lila and Hazel; twin sisters who haven’t grown apart but have grown up. It was so refreshing to see such a strong connection between two female characters.
It is also a story of figuring out who you are. Your late twenties are a minefield of being pigeonholed into tick boxes. Married? Check. Mortgage? Check. Children? Check. Not everyone has it all figured out yet; the fact that Hazel is in the exact same position made her very easy to relate to.
The Winter Wedding was a really lovely read. It wasn’t taxing or an agonising read; it was a genuine pleasure to just sit down and pick up a book that I felt so comfortable to be a part of.
Well done, Abby Clements.
The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements is available now.
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