Saturday, 4 June 2016

"Four Weddings and a Fiasco" Catherine Ferguson

Four Weddings and a Fiasco
This was a very enjoyable, entertaining, feel good romantic comedy - absolutely perfect for the summer!

As the title suggests, this is a story about four weddings and a fiasco! Katy Peacock runs her own business as a successful, hardworking wedding photographer. She makes her money from snapping away at everyone else's big day, capturing the drama, the tears, the happiness and ultimately the love, from the couple's big day. But behind her fun loving facade, Katy is full of her own troubles. Firstly she is unable to shake off an ex boyfriend who follows her around in a threatening and intimidating manner as she tries desperately to pay back the money she owes him. Secondly, she is estranged from her former business partner and sister who walked out on her - and the business which they ran jointly - leaving her penniless and vulnerable. Thirdly, while working at a wedding, she meets the handsome and enigmatic Gabe, who she finds herself falling for. And so ensues a serious of cringeworthy and laugh out loud incidents as she tries to remain professional, disinterested and alluring all at the same time!

Although this novel follows a well worn path typical of chick lit rom coms, it still feels fresh and funny. The story is well structured into four parts based around four weddings and this helps move the plot along swiftly and with focus. Katy is a very likeable character; the reader empathises with her as she tries to face her problems alone- juggling a job, a recently bereaved mother, an estranged sister, a best friend and a potential love interest without letting anyone see how desperate she feels or the pressure she finds herself under. There are several different threads of storyline going on which gives the book more depth; twists, revelations and moments of seriousness carefully balanced against the humour and romantic moments. It is a light hearted read, largely humorous and witty, but Katy also has real problems that give the book more gravitas and prevent it from being too frivolous.

There are a cast of many characters but all are created well and feel believable. Katy's best friend is particularly engaging and it feels like Ferguson enjoyed writing this character with her down to earth comments and observations. She is a great tonic for Katy and prevents the book from becoming too serious or bogged down with the difficult reality of living with family complications and debt. Ferguson also writes convincingly about the relationship between Katy and her mother which feels heartfelt and real. Her mother's friends offer Ferguson an opportunity for a bit more fun and colourful characterisation too!

Even though I was pretty sure I could guess the outcome of each plot line, I still enjoyed the ride and still felt engaged throughout the novel. I still found myself wondering what would happen between Gabe and Katy and also how things would work out with her sister. I wanted to read to the end and I found this a very easy read in which the pages kept turning without me really realising. Ferguson's writing is fluid and natural. A great read to have taken away with me over half term - particularly as I had just attended a wedding myself!

The role of a wedding photographer is a great angle (excuse the pun!) for a romantic comedy and provides a perfect set up for a story about love and marriage. It is a great way to explore couples, relationships, love and how moments captured publicly are often not a true representation of what is going on behind the scenes - even between the lucky couple themselves on their special day!

Ultimately this is a feel good story about love, friendship, families and happy endings and will suit anyone who enjoys a bit of light relief, escapism and a gentle holiday read! If you like novels like "Bridget Jones" and "The Rosie Project" and authors like Marion Keyes, Lucy Diamond, Sophie Kinsella and Cecelia Ahern, I would recommend you give this book a whirl!

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this book in return for a fair review.

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