Book review: The Wedding Diaries by Sam Binnie

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Whoever said that chick-lit is dull, predictable and saccharine hadn’t picked up a copy of Sam Binnie’s clever and funny debut novel.

The Wedding Diaries is the first in a new series and it promises to be a real cracker with its down-to-earth humour, quirky characters and original narrative style.

Entertainment is the order of the day (or should that be order of service?) as Binnie takes us through the tears and tantrums, dreams and dramas of preparing for a young couple’s ‘big day.’

Now, as many of us know, planning a wedding – surely one of the happiest events in our ‘life’ calendar – so often turns into a logistical and emotional nightmare. Binnie takes this age-old premise and lovingly turns into a feelgood story that will have readers laughing and crying in equal measure.

Kiki Carlow, an editorial assistant with Polka Dot Books (a firm that publishes the kind of glossy books you see in supermarkets) is a woman on a mission to create her perfect wedding.

Her husband-to-be is accountant Thom Sharpe who is finding it difficult to countenance spending £10 on three wedding magazines, never mind the full paraphernalia of a whiter-than-white wedding.

They are madly (and, fortunately, truly) in love despite an inauspicious start when Thom’s much-rehearsed proposal to Kiki was greeted with the immortal words ‘Is that a joke?’

All that is behind them now and their marriage is well on track. Or is it? Kiki had naively been convinced that planning this momentous occasion was going to be a piece of (wedding) cake.

It hasn’t taken her long to discover that the price of the only dress she will ever really love is utterly bankrupting, none of the venues fits the bill (literally!) and that all-important cake could be a culinary disaster.

To make matters worse, Kiki’s sister Susie is suddenly and inconveniently pregnant, her mother is not speaking to her, a family illness is having repercussions and the celebrity wedding she is covering for work is devouring her every waking thought.

Kiki is discovering that planning the ‘perfect’ wedding is bringing total chaos to the rest of her life. Can she stop being a Bridezilla in time to marry the man she loves?

Binnie’s sparkling debut novel, with its unusual diary format, engaging cast and warm, witty plotline, is an enjoyable romp laced with some delicious moments of subtle irony and delicate poignancy.

And happily, The Wedding Diaries has given birth to the next in the series, The Baby Diaries, due next spring!

(Avon, paperback, £6.99)