Publisher: Black Swan (22 May 2014)
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:
Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, the galloping years and a disastrous haircut.
Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, and increasingly distant husband.
The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants.
At the marriage of their son James, forbidden object of troubling desire. For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.
There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.
From the moment that Fran wakes alone in the hotel room to that final page, we’re taken through those hours, from 8am Saturday to 7pm Sunday with the undertow of emotions colouring interactions.
With Saul and Fran appearing to be opposites, I wondered what had first attracted them to each other. Saul is pedantic and routine led whereas Fran seems to just flow. When we understand Fran more from her experiences as a child and then teen, it’s obvious the pull Saul had for her.
There is one thing that obsesses Fran and the real reason why is cleverly concealed from the reader. The emotions between two of the characters felt illicit and not quite right – this made me feel uneasy as I couldn’t work out what the undertow was about. I love it when I can’t work it out! When we find out it makes perfect sense to have tangled emotions…
The backstory is shared by Fran reflecting at key points in the story and one specific scene was heart breaking. I cried so much I had to put my Kindle down …
I always think that a 1st person narrative works really well for intimacy and looking below the surface. Fran is a master at observations, reading body language and connotations. I always enjoy a story that exposes underlying thoughts and lays those emotions bare. I found it really easy to identify with Fran and so thought she was a fabulous main character.
Here’s an example of Fran’s observation:
“She’s gone back to the bright, social voice I remember from yesterday’s reception, painting it on top of her real voice like varnish.”
I love Tamar Cohen’s writing style too 🙂
Fran, husband Saul and daughters Pip and Katy circle around each other with their secrets and hurts set amongst the backdrop of a British wedding (uncomfortable clothes and shoes, over-drinking, overeating and over-reacting).
Someone Else’s Wedding is an interesting and intriguing story, with past events coming to light and past emotions laid bare for healing to take place.
I would like to thank the publishers for approving my request to review via Netgalley.