Review Blog

May 02 2019

Wedding puzzle by Sallie Muirden

cover image

Transit lounge, 2019. ISBN: 9781925760248.
(Age: 16+) On the eve of her wedding, Beth receives a letter that turns her world upside down. It is from her once closest friend Tracy, the school sports star, enlightening her that Jordan, Beth's future husband, had proposed to Tracy only days before proposing to Beth, and that it was only Tracy's rejection of him that had led him to turn to Beth. The letter provokes all Beth's insecurities and self doubt, and she reassesses the history of their relationship, and Jordan's proposal, and all sorts of alternative interpretations of what was really going on.
There are funny moments in this novel, like when the seagulls take off with the orange-scented wedding veil, but what starts out as an interesting story idea, turns into a prolonged examination of Beth's recollections, and as reader, we start to become unsure about how reliable her version of events is. Perhaps her view of men has been warped by her father's betrayal of their family; perhaps, in Jordan, she has chosen another man who will let her down; or perhaps Jordan really is as trustworthy and dependable as he makes out to be. In the latter case, then, what is it that he sees in Beth? Maybe it is actually Beth who is the unreliable one, seeking an excuse to run from commitment.
The novel is a clever examination of memories and relationships, but could perhaps have benefited from some editing in its twists towards a fairly predictable ending.
Helen Eddy

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