Today Mandie is in the hot seat again with a blog tour review of The Almost Wife by Jade Beer. With thanks to Bookouture for providing the the advance copy of the book and for inviting us to join the tour. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
An absolutely gripping page-turner that will make you laugh and cry, and will stay with you forever! A perfect summer book-club read.
Jessie has always known she doesn’t belong, but she thought that would change when she met Adam. But pretending to be someone you’re not isn’t easy… and she’s already cracking under the pressure of keeping her past a secret from Adam’s uptight family.
Dolly works hard to keep up appearances – but what’s the point of only eating salad when her boyfriend Josh always seems distracted. Dolly is sure he’ll change once they’re married with a family; Josh did say he wanted those things… didn’t he?
Emily couldn’t be happier: she’s got funny, loving parents and a job she looks forward to. And then her boyfriend Mark proposes… just as some shocking news sends her life spiralling out of control.
Perfect strangers on the first page, Jessie, Dolly and Emily’s paths will cross in the most unexpected of ways. And as their stories collide, their lives will take a turn you’ll never predict.
An unforgettable book-club read about love, heartbreak and life’s unexpected second chances. If you love Jojo Moyes, Nancy Thayer and Mary Alice Monroe, you will adore this unputdownable summer page-turner.
Well what can I say about this book other than it took me by surprise as I followed Dolly, Jessie and Emily as they prepared for their big day. Although I had read the book blurb and thought I knew how this was all going to pan out I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Jessie is your typical Bridezilla who is barking orders left, right and centre and it is quite difficult to warm to her. She is adamant that money is no object and that everything must be perfect, she even paid off another couple so that she could get the venue she wanted on the day she wanted. As the story progresses you do see that maybe she is not quite the cow that she appears to be, just someone who is full of self-doubt that she is not actually good enough for her fiancé Adam and his family.
Dolly is also obsessed with the perfect wedding and wants it to be featured in Brides magazine. Spending so much time trying to plan everything alone as her fiancé Josh is worse that useless she is also determined not to go back to the chubby child that she once was. Her obsessions however are close to costing her the job she needs to keep, and you also wonder if Josh is as into the wedding as Dolly is.
Emily seems the most together, she is still living at home until the wedding and she is happy to have a simple affair with simple touches such as lace bunting to decorate the room and his happy for both sets of parents helping with the organisation, in fact at times she comes across as a bit of a ditherer when a decision is required for things such as cakes, dresses etc – a stark contrast to her job as a nursery nurse in charge of the toddler room.
Just as with the brides the grooms could also not be more different. Jessie’s fiancé Adam, although born to wealth is actually down to earth and sees the good in everyone. Dolly’s fiancé Josh is a self-obsessed photographer who spends his days with models and his evenings putting Dolly down. Emily’s fiancé Mark is nice and sweet but dare I say it just that little bit wet, in fact at one point you have to wonder how he ever managed to set up his own travel agency.
What could have been a book with three individual stories in it becomes something more as each girl visits the same wedding dress boutique run by Helen, who after the death of her husband, decided to up sticks and open the boutique in the hope that she will be able to move on with her life. In fact, I found that I invested almost as much time wondering if she was going to be able to get her version of happy ever after too. As time progresses she becomes their confidante, encouraging each one to be true to themselves, even if this means that decisions made may be hard and change things forever.
The Almost Wife takes you on a bit of a roller coaster with each of the girls and for very different reasons. There will be times you want to slap one of them, cheer for one of them and cry for one of them, however I am not going to say which one is which. You need to pick up the book for yourself to find out and I would really recommend that you do as you won’t be disappointed. This is the first book by Jade Beer and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
Thanks Mandie. If you’d like to read The Almost Wife for yourself then you can pick up a copy at the following links:
About the Author
I’m Jade. I’m a novelist, mother to two young daughters and the editor of Conde Nast Brides.
I love writing about women and all the challenges we face in our daily lives. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented women throughout my career as a journalist and editor – ones who juggle the most all-encompassing careers with family and friendships and everything else that life throws at them. They often make it look so easy. But we all know it’s not. And that need to present one version of yourself to the world, while keeping the grittier, less polished reality under wraps, is a thread that runs strongly through my debut novel, The Almost Wife.
In my day job as the editor of Conde Nast Brides, I share my working life with editors of some of the glossiest, luxury brands in the world – Vogue, Tatler, Glamour – and I have the enormous priviledge of travelling the world and sitting front row at beautiful fashion shows and working with the world’s leading florists, cake makers and stylists. But I also take a daily peek into the lives of young women who are engulfed in one of the most exciting times of their lives – planning their wedding days. This, above everything else, is the really fun bit. Being on the front line if you like. Hearing their thoughts, fears, worries and ambitions for the future. This really powerful cocktail of glamour and reality dances across every page of The Almost Wife and is currently being poured into my second novel which is due out in October this year.
I’m not sure I could have written The Almost Wife without making it personal too, feeding some of my own quiet fears into the mix. I’ve sat in important meetings, dropping huge clangers that years later still make me cringe. I’ve got more than my fair share of self-doubt and suffer like many other women from the dreaded imposter syndrome. I worry constantly about my family. How much time I have left with them. Am I doing any of it right? Will I be riddled with regret in later years? Will my daughters be critical of the choices I made? Am I failing the people I love the most?
Although work places me full time in London, my heart is in the countryside where I live with my husband and our two daughters. The Cotswolds is where my husband and I used to spend romantic weekends plotting our future together long before children came along and is now where I watch them both run free, hoping I will keep them close for many years to come.
Take a peek inside my life on Instagram @jadebeerbrides and Twitter
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