Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams
|Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: Four friends go to Cornwall for the weekend in order to discuss Harry’s and Josie’s wedding. It should be a quiet, relaxed weekend but strange things start to happen after they all agree to be hypnotised in order to find out whether there is any truth in a local myth.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? No|
|Pages: 400||Date: July 2013|
After a whirlwind romance, Josie and Harry are engaged to be married and she is putting every waking hour into planning the wedding down to the finest detail. This includes taking Harry, bridesmaid Diana and best man Ant down to her parents’ home in Cornwall for the weekend as that is where the wedding is going to be taking place. It should be a weekend of excited planning and preparations but, unfortunately, things don’t turn out entirely as Josie hopes. She turns into the 'bride from Hell' driving all her friends crazy with boredom as she talks non-stop about the wedding plans in the minutest of details. In order to liven things up, Harry and Ant persuade the girls to take part in a hypnosis experiment which will make them plight their troths to their true loves at midnight on Midsummer Night’s Eve. As you might imagine, all sorts of mayhem occurs as well as a few home truths shared.
Throughout the novel, there are parallels between this story and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There are names that are very similar to some of Shakespeare’s characters and also the plot where two couples end up falling in love with the people that they didn’t start off loving. I liked the idea of this and was interested to see how this relationship with the play would progress.
This book promised to be a light summer read which I was looking forward to particularly as Julia Williams is a favourite author of mine. However, it didn’t take long before I felt disappointed and found myself struggling to like anything about the book. I thought that the characters were quite shallow and they didn't endear themselves to me at all. In fact, at times, they were downright nasty to each other even though they were supposed to be friends or lovers. Also, Josie’s obsession with planning the wedding down to the details of seating plans and floral arrangements was annoying and not really credible considering the wedding was supposed to be over a year away.
I also did not feel that the book was very well written especially as the author seemed to keep repeating things; this felt like unnecessary padding. The parallels with Shakespeare should have really made the story fun but, in the end, it seemed to be its downfall. About half the book was dedicated to various characters wondering about on cliffs and to the nearby open air theatre having strange conversations, falling in and out of love with each other at lightning speed whilst also being generally unpleasant to one another. This was so incredibly confusing and I just could not, and eventually did not want to keep up with all the comings and goings. Even though that is pretty much what Shakespeare portrayed in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, it just didn’t work. I think that trying to create in a book what was originally in a play was not successful because it was not visual. In the play, the audience can see what is happening whereas in this book, the reader cannot see what is going on at all. It just did not work for me at all.
This was sorely disappointing especially as I had high expectations based on previous books by Julia Williams. I really wanted to like it but in the end I found the entire book sadly lacking.
A much better read from the same author is The Bridesmaid Pact by Julia Williams
You can read more book reviews or buy Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams at Amazon.com.
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