Anna is at her lowest ebb. After losing her job, her money and her self esteem, she reluctantly moves back to her hometown with her fiancé. Former dancer Anna begrudgingly finds herself becoming involved with the children in the community, helping them choreograph a routine for a nationwide talent show. Slowly Anna realises that happiness is what counts in life rather than material goods.
I found this book difficult to get into- Anna irritated me with her brattish attitude and superiority, which I suppose is the point, but I found her annoying as a character . Admittedly, as she developed I liked her more, yet I didn't warm to her in the way I did to Rachel in Jenny Oliver's previous novella The Parisian Christmas Bake Off (see my review here). Being totally truthful, I couldn't have cared less if Anna got her happy ending or not until about two thirds of the way into the story.
It probably didn't help that I'd expected a different plot- more about wedding planning, choosing bouquets, bridezilla moments- whereas actually The Vintage Summer Wedding places more emphasis on community and village living than on impending nuptials. It didn't bother me as I liked the small-town sniping, but I imagine there will be other people out there who will get a different plot than they imagined.
I liked the morals of the story- appreciating the small things, that pleasure can come in unexpected ways, the importance of community- Jenny Oliver writes contemporary women's fiction which leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I was glad I persevered with this one, it definitely became more engaging as the book progressed.
The Vintage Summer Wedding is out now, published by Carina.
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in return for my honest opinion.