My rating: 4.5 Stars
The Almost Wife is about three women, Jessie, Dolly and Emily, as they are approaching their wedding days. Jessie is the ultimate bridezilla. Her approach to wedding planning truly left me cringing. She is shooting for utter perfection. However, she is a woman who always felt out of place, but her fiancé Adam truly grounds her. Next, there is Dolly. She is truly struggling. First it is her desire to be as slim as possible. It is also her connection with her boyfriend Josh. They truly loved one another at one time, but things have become strained. Then, Dolly has an awful job, with an equally awful boss. Stressed enough about wedding planning, things quickly change for Dolly.
Next to mention is Emily. Happy as can be, with fantastic parents, and the absolutely perfect husband-to-be. She is taking her wedding planning in stride. However, some shocking news changes everything. How will she move forward? I was just shocked at how things turned out for her. Our last impressive character to mention is Helen, the bridal shop owner. She is working with these three women and becomes intimately involved with them. Her personal life has taken a serious hit and she herself seeks personal growth. Of the three women seeking for a glorious wedding day, only two will make it up the aisle, and only one will marry. Upon first glance, they are all strangers, however, their lives do intersect.
This story is told from several perspectives. The chapters are of perfect length because, as a reader, I was drawn into each of the four women's stories and emotions. Yes, Jessie was over-the-top, but she became someone that I found that, if need be, I could forgive. Then there was Dolly, I really felt for her with her changed circumstances. Sadly, I cried for Emily, more than once. And, who couldn't love Helen? She was going through her own angst, but she was a marvelous support for the brides-to-be.
This was a heart-wrenching book, a truly fantastic page-turner, written exceptionally well. I love the fact that the author has experience in the art of wedding planning, thus making the stories work so well. From the descriptions of the dresses, designers and locations, the women and their emotions, well, it was just perfect. Usually, I don't want to put a book as good as this down, but I just had to at times in order to absorb what was happening to the women, whether to yell at one of the characters or to shed tears more than once. If this is how Jade Beer will be writing all of her books, she has just found a new fan.
Many thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for an honest review.