Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Wedding Invitation - Book Review

Book Description:  After returning home from teaching English at a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique in Falls Church, Virginia. When she receives an invitation to a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she looks forward to reconnecting with her college friend. Instead her life collides with Carson, a fellow teacher and the man who broke her heart, and a young Amerasian refugee named Lien who needs Samantha and Carson's help to find her mother before Lien's own wedding. When the search for Lien's mother reveals surprising secrets from the past, Samantha must reevaluate her own memories and decide whether to continue to play it safe or take a risk that could change her life.

Synopsis:  Samantha Bravencourt is a thirty-something living in the D.C. area working at her mother's boutique.  She gets a wedding invitation from who she thinks is a college friend and she makes plans to head to North Carolina for the wedding.  In reality, the wedding invitation is for a complete stranger who happens to have the same name as Samantha's friend.  The time at the wedding and reception isn't wasted as Samantha meets a guy, Taylor, who she is attracted to.  Taylor continues to pop up throughout the novel and plays a significant role in the ending of the book.  Her time in NC also leads to a reunion between Samantha and her former refugee students and a former co-teacher, Carson, who broke Samantha's heart.  The book follow Samantha as she processes her feelings for Carson and tries to help a former student reunite with her mother.

Review:  This was a quick, fun read with a fun main character.  In fact, I got it read all in one day (gotta love vacations).  The back-and-forth between Samantha's time in the Philippines and the main time period of the book is a little quirky but not too difficult to follow.  I liked that Samantha had "issues" but wasn't a whiny character.  She took risks, argued with God and then reveled when things worked out like the prayed they would.   The quirky cast of characters Wisler included were an interesting lot but they seemed oddly placed.  I wasn't really sure of the purpose behind them.  Dovie, Samantha's aunt, could have played the same role by herself.  I also thought the relationship development with Carson, while enjoyable, wasn't exactly realistic, even for a fiction novel.  All in all, it was a fun read but not necessarily something to get overly excited about.

Score:  3.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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