on 18 April 2005
I don't know how Alliott keeps all the balls in the air at the same time while still maintaining the reader's interest in each character. Not only do we root for Annie as she tries to write her novel and straighten out her lovelife (ex-husband, fiance, rugged American houseguest) in a lovely Cornwall cottage, but we also become sympathetic towards her perfect, annoying, controlling sister and her own marriage. We feel for Matt, Annie's American houseguest, as he deals with his horrifying ex-wife in a fight for his son, and enjoy Annie's daughter Flora as she struggles with teenage angst. Alliott writes with such sensitivity and humor. Characters are never stereotypical; plotlines are never boring. This is a great read.
on 16 November 2004
This was a great book, very entertaining, funny, well written and a story that gets you so intrigued that you can't put it down. The adventures of Annie and everyone around her are both hilarious and endearing at the same time, a real page turner that will put you in a great mood and make you forget about everything else.
on 19 October 2009
Catherine Alliott writes some excellent books in this genre, and it is no surprise to me that Marian Keyes rates her as "one of her favourite authors". 'The Wedding Day' is a fun and mostly light-hearted romp, for an interesting group of characters as Annie tried to get her wedding organised and her first novel completed.
Where Catherine Alliott veers away from "traditional" chick-lit, and what makes her books so absorbing, is the sudden plot twists that hit you, and the darker undercurrent to her characters. But life is like that! Nice people have horrid things happen to them out of the blue, 'perfect' people have a darker side that you don't normally see. She writes about real life, but dresses it up to make it fun.
I became totally caught up in this story once the scene was set, and the main characters introduced. And yes, it is slightly escapist - who wouldn't fall in love with David, the dashing doctor - and who wouldn't love to have access to the family stately mansion in rural Cornwall, with its own private beach! But Annie has her own sets of problems, including a timid and lonely mother, an overbearing (but fragile) sister, an almost-teenage daughter with a complete set of neuroses, and an ex-husband who fails to appreciate that they are actually divorced. Flora, the daughter, would love her parents to get back together, despite adoring her new stepfather-to-be, and Annie is constantly torn in two directions. Enter Matt, the difficult 'lodger' and suddenly she has another man to contend with. With his own set of truly horrific problems.
There are light-hearted moments galore. I loved the letters & emails from her prospective publisher, and the scene where she finally gives Adam a piece of her mind is divine!
I read this in about 3 days, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait for my next Catherine Alliott to read :-)
on 4 August 2011
This is the first book of Catherine Alliott that I have read, and it certainly will not be the last.
Annie is divorced, with a nearly teenage daughter, she was married to Adam who likes nothing better than women. Annie is engaged to a Doctor, who rescued Annie and Flora when they were in need of rescuing themselves from despair after her failed marriage, but David have had things happen to him in the past that he has not revealed to Annie.
David, Aunt Gertrude offers Annie her cottage in Cornwall for the summer, so she can finish writing her first novel, so Annie and her daughter Flora move to the cottage for the summer holidays, with David visiting for the occasional weekend. The cottage is everything they wanted with its own beach. On there first night at the cottage, the daughter here's someone moving about downstairs, they go down to look and they find a man at the cottage, fireworks start, Matt is a very arrogant and rude American. David's Aunt forgot all about that she agreed to let the cottage for a while to Matt, so they all agree in the end to live in the cottage as there is plenty of room.
Matt son Tod joins them after a few days and Matt has problems of his own regarding his son Tod and his ex wife, but as you can guess, Matt and Annie start getting on well together, she has David who she is engaged to, and then there is Matt who she starts to see in a different way.
The book also has sub-plots, Clare, Annie sister, Rosie, Annie best friend, and a small part of the book is Annie mother.
A very enjoyable book, I gave it a 4* instead of 5*, I did feel in places that the book was a little long winded.
on 30 May 2005
Romantic fiction is nothing if not formulaic, and it wouldn't be particularly difficult to create a computer program that manipulated the finite number of available characters and subplots into a variety of possible combinations.
That's really not the point. Okay, you can play 'spot the subplot' all you like, as well as identifying the set characters who pop up in each of Catherine Alliot's books under a different name. Yet this is well-written stuff by the standards of the genre. You may be pretty sure what the ending will be, but it's always a puzzle quite how Alliot will get her heroine that far, given the obstacles she blithely throws at her characters.
If mildly witty dialogue, comfortingly predictable yet sympathetic characters, and a happy ending isn't your sort of thing, then you're certainly in the wrong corner of the bookshop. So, you go and find something challenging to read, I'll sit here quietly with a pot of tea, my Catherine Alliot novel, and a packet of biscuits, and we'll see who enjoys their book the most...
on 14 July 2014
I have read a few of catherine alliott books and this particular one was very good except for one thing which seems to crop up in all her books. I have had to stop reading a couple of her books as it seems every other page she constantly writes "She/I bit her thumb" of "chewed her thumb". It seems to be a phrase that she inserts when she needs something to write. I find it extremely annoying.
on 1 February 2012
I really liked this book, this is the first of hers that i read, i came accross it on sale in WH Smith and thought id give it a try.
I really enjoyed it, i found Annie really funny and I laughed out loud on a number of occasions at her prediciments. I could imagine this book as brit rom com with famous brit actors paying out the roles!
Ive read some of the comments where other people have said they thought it was predictable and unrealistic ... i do agree a little with these comments, i did guess the end and at some points i was thinksing .. yeah right as if!!! but it didn't spoil the enjoyment of the book beacuse its well written and funny so you just kind of go with it and laugh - its a bit cheeesy in places too but its all in a good way. Great holiday read ... give it a go!!
on 29 August 2014
I thought the Longest Day was about the Normandy Landings until I read The Wedding Day. On page 368, Annie wakes up in Devon to learn that her fiancé has attempted suicide and is in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. On page 370 we are told that it is 9.00 am. Annie drives to London (on page 375 she arrives “some hours later”) then “weaves her way through the busy streets to the Fulham Road”, parks up, “made” herself walk rather than run through the jostling crowds, and at the hospital encounters her fiance’s aunt and has a conversation with her that lasts from page 376 to 383. By my reckoning it’s now about 2.00 pm, and we’re into the next chapter. She visits her fiancé and talks everything through for the whole of this chapter, then goes and sits in her car “for a long while.” It must be getting on for 4.00pm by now and she knows that “after a four-hour drive from Devon….plus another hour to Cornwall” she should spend the night in London but, instead, just pops home to collect the post before setting off on page 399 for “a long drive” and, “just as the evening sun was setting” gets to her friend’s house in Trebetherick. It should, by now, be about 10.00pm and on page 400 we are told “it was a beautiful evening” and that the sun is “was sinking low and pink over the water.” Annie then has a conversation with her friends Rosie and Dan which lasts for nine pages. She then drives to Taplow House but gets stuck behind “the slowest tractor in the West country” behind which she crawls while she reads her post. When she gets to Taplow House, she finds Madeleine Malone in “the gloom of the timbered sitting room.” They talk for eight pages, then Annie runs to find Matt and the children. No mention of it being dark, but it must be getting on for midnight. Then there’s a showdown that goes on for a long time, Madeleine drives away with the boy and Matt walks off, and Annie finds him sitting on the rocks. “The sun had gone behind the water now, and an evening wind began to stir….the green hills opposite were losing their colour, turning to iron grey in the twilight.” Matt and Annie sort things out. Why aren’t they tired? I’m exhausted. But yet another visitor, Louise, turns up who on page 441 is able to run down the terrace steps without a torch. They all sit in the garden and Matt goes inside to “fetch a bottle” (not mugs of Horlicks) during which time Madeleine returns with Tod. They had got as far as Launceston where there’d been a different showdown. That must have taken a while. Padstow to Launceston and back would take a couple of hours - plus the showdown. (“He wouldn’t speak to me,” Madeleine said, “But eventually I made him talk.” See what I mean?) On page 449 Louise says that Madeleine can’t possibly drive all the way back to Cambridge and should spend the night. Oh good, is it night time? Are we nearly there? On page 450, Annie notices that it is almost dark and on page 451 that the heavens were “clear, dark and relentlessly deep, and now with a smattering of stars.” We’re getting there, then. She finds Matt, they sort things out and are caught kissing by the children. Matt hands a wad of tenners to them and tells them to catch the ferry to Padstow and get a pizza, then go around the town(because, clearly the shops are still open) spending “the rest on mindless junk” but to GET BACK BY TEN o'CLOCK. Yes, all this in one day.
What a great light-hearted read. Very chick-lit with the usual splash of humour, sex, romance and just the right amount of predictability - excellent for a holiday/weekend read.
on 17 October 2013
This was the first CA book i read, totally love loved it and have been searching for all her books ever since round car boots and charity shops, happy to say i nearly have the lot now and i am ploughing through each book. This one and "The Old Girl Network" so far have been my favorites but they are all enjoyable, really good stories, well written, the main characters are always funny and getting into scrapes.
The main character in this book made me laugh and although I did guess how it would end up - it was very enjoyable reading it all the same! 9/10 for sure.