|An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding by Christina Jones|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Interfering in-laws threaten to ruin Jay and Erin's big day, Can they find a way to keep everyone happy and still have the wedding of their dreams?|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: May 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Jay loves Erin and Erin loves Jay. They live in a picture perfect village called Nook Green and are planning their dream wedding, which is only a few weeks away. The plans are coming along perfectly and everything is running according to schedule. Life simply couldn’t get any better than this.
Of course, we know that life is never that simple and the arrival of Jay’s overbearing Indian parents, Tavish and Deena soon casts a large, if rather gaudy and sparkly cloud over the wedding arrangements. After all, Jay is their only son and things have to be done according to tradition. Naturally, all of the customary rituals will be observed; the sagai, sanjii, poojas and pithi. And English rose Erin will be wearing a ceremonial sari, won’t she? There is no need to worry unduly, because Jay’s drop-dead-gorgeous 'best friend' Nalisha has arrived from California to help out with the arrangements...
Christina Jones sets the scene for a delightful comedy of errors, with all parties concerned having very different ideas on what constitutes the perfect wedding. Jones populates her chocolate-box Berkshire village with an eclectic mix of lovable characters, including unlucky-in-love barmaid Gina, the free-spirited Uncle Doug and the Yee-Hawers line dancing club. As the wedding plans progress, Bollywood comes to Berkshire as the whole village is swept along by the Indian festivities.
Jones has a real talent for writing warm, witty comedy and there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in the book. Erin’s phobia of spiders featured in some of the funniest scenes and I also loved the moment where Uncle Doug realised that the Indian statues he had ordered from eBay were a little larger than he expected! The bitchy Nalisha was one of my favourite characters and I loved the way that she made Erin feel so insecure about everything.
Despite this, the book did have its weak points. In many ways, it failed to live up to its strong opening premise; an old cynic like me would have preferred a bit more disaster and conflict! Large sections of the book were given over to rather dull descriptions of wedding preparations, which seemed to pad the story out way too much. Some scenes had great comedy potential, but were wasted, such as the chapter where Deena, the mother in law from hell, takes Erin and her mum out shopping for clothes. Rather than playing for laughs, the scene was rather straight and boring. This happened quite a lot throughout the course of the book and Jones seemed to overlook the comedy potential in a lot of the scenes, especially the wedding at the end.
In conclusion, this is a warm, light-hearted read with lovely characters and a sweet storyline. However, some readers may find the plot a little too saccharine and at 373 pages long, I felt that it would have been better in a shorter format.
With a similar Berkshire village setting, Never Can Say Goodbye, also by Christina Jones is a delightful read for fans of this genre.
You can read more book reviews or buy An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding by Christina Jones at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding by Christina Jones at Amazon.com.
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