A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve

I’ve never read any Anita Shreve novels before, well never completed one. I did attempt to read Fortune’s Rock many years ago on recommendation from a friend, but it failed to hold my interest. I had obviously blocked it out of my mind and completely forgot this fact. My dear book club friend recommended this novel as a light read and after reading the blurb of this book and decided that it sounded like just what I needed to entertain myself, relaxing down at the shack.

A Wedding in December surrounds an event of a second marriage, the happy couple decide that they wish to invite their close friends from their University/College days. Each characters story is introduced through devoting a chapter to each. I enjoyed the way we got to know them all individually, so as a reader I could understand who they were and who they had become, before they were all thrown together for the main event. I think that Shreve is quite successful here in creating a realistic melting pot of personalities who struggle with unrequited love, make judgements of each other, face up to their disappointments in life and relive old competitive battles. It certainly makes for an interesting mix of dynamics.

One of my favourite parts of the story was the complex character Agnes and her writing of a novel set around a First World War disaster that occurred in Halifax, Canada.  I thought this aspect of the book was particularly well written and really kept me fascinated, I found myself itching to find out more about the young doctor Innes and what happened to him after the disaster. I had no knowledge of this disaster, much to my amazement considering the immensity of the wartime accident.

This book contains many sub-stories, but they are interwoven with such skill that it reads easily and enjoyably. I would recommend this book as a light read with quite a bit more depth and interest than the average ‘light’ novel.

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