On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
After not particularly liking the previous Quinns I’ve read (The Lost Duke of Wyndham review), On the Way to the Wedding was a pleasant surprise. It was a delight to read until the last maybe 100–50 pages, where things get a little too silly for me.
I didn’t take too many notes while reading this, which tells you two things: one, that this is a book that is pleasant to read and goes by without really noticing. Two, it doesn’t really engage my emotions, do anything particularly clever, nor does it have any distinct lacks. It has nice things in it: female friendship, a hero who is an incurable romantic (after seven siblings blissfully married, Gregory Bridgerton would have to be blind not to believe in true love), and a heroine who, according to her own words and compared to her gorgeous best friend, is “a little less” or “simply not quite” (14). Oh, and twists and turns a-plenty.
What I find most interesting relates to just these twists and turns: the structure of the book is somewhat curious and, in my opinion, perhaps sacrifices quality for trickery. Does that make sense? Let me explain. The prologue, in tandem with the back cover, gives away a lot of how the book is going to go. That’s all fine, we all know how romances generally go. However, while reading I came to question the sense of the prologue, and if you think about it, giving away that much at the very beginning of the narrative you really have to jump through some hoops towards the end. Quinn does, and as I said it gets too silly for me, but I’m sure if you generally like a lighter touch it hits exactly the right spot.
Towards the end a couple of other things emerge as well that I don’t particularly approve of – Gregory becomes rather managing, which I find infuriating, and there’s some confusion as to how a certain legal practice works. I consider myself fairly relaxed about anachronisms and inaccuracy when it comes to Regencies, but this one rubs me the wrong way because a lot hinges on it and it’s simply very inaccurate.
But as you can see, these hiccups didn’t really bring my rating down much. The only star I took away is for the ending, but other than that I do recommend this book. It’s a quick, light read and will keep you well entertained! I tend to think of Quinn’s books as romances with chick lit elements, so if you’re a chick lit reader and would perhaps like to widen your scope a little, you could do worse than start your acquaintance with romance with Quinn.