Thursday, June 8, 2017

A FRENCH WEDDING BY HANNAH TUNNICLIFFE - BOOK REVIEW



Hello everyone!

 I am back with another book review, A French Wedding by Hannah Tunnicliffe. Thanks so much to Doubleday for sending me an ARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


When I first heard about this book, I was picturing a French This is Where I Leave You. A group of friends who haven't seen each other in years getting together to celebrate a fortieth birthday. And I'm happy to report, that's kind of what I got!

The story follows a group of friends who meet up to celebrate a birthday. Max, the birthday boy is a washed up rock star who has been pining after Helen since they were in college. Rosie and Hugo have three sons but their marriage has been rocky since Rosie started her own jewelry company. Things are even more stressful when Rosie's ex-boyfriend, Eddie meets up with the gang, the latest of his girlfriends, a twenty-something American in tow. Nina and Lars round out the group, along with their 15-year-old daughter Sophie. Juliette, Max's chef and housekeeper, narrates a large portion of the book, reminiscing about her past in Paris.

I love the long lost friend trope, and Tunnicliffe does it fantastically. The plot of the story is subtle, expertly woven into flashbacks of days gone by. While most of the story is present day, there are snippets of college life, showing how the characters' have been shaped.

The writing in this book is so lyrical and dreamy. I found myself getting lulled in by Tunnicliffe's delicious descriptions, whether it was the gourmet meals Juliette prepared or just the interactions between the guests. I've found that writing a book set in somewhere like France can easily fall prey to cheesiness, however, Tunnicliffe is able to avoid this issue and uses the small town French backdrop in a way that created a charming feeling.

I loved reading about the groups' woes, their romances, and their scandals. I really felt as though I was there with them, at the very least, a close friend of the group. Tunnicliffe does a great job of describing each character, I was worried about having that many people in the story that I wouldn't be able to keep track of them. She also does a good job of expressing their emotions, I felt like I was able to connect with each of the characters, especially the female ones.

I think this book would be a great beach read, quick enough to read in a few hours and engrossing enough to devour at a day at the beach. The writing is charming and the plot will grab you from the start.

I appreciated the one year later epilogue, I always love a good epilogue but this one in particular left me satisfied. I liked knowing how things had panned out for the couples, and I loved seeing the wedding! Very clever!

Overall, a great summer read, I highly recommend.