By Becky Gulc
Associate Reviewer at Chick Lit Central (Our Sister Blog)
‘An enchanting and entertaining novel that will delight fans of Katie Fforde and Veronica Henry.
Recently engaged Josie is visiting her parents in Cornwall with best friend Diane, fiancée Harry and his pal Ant. Josie can’t wait to start wedding planning, if only Harry was more interested, and Diane and Ant weren’t at war with each other.
As the four make amends over a drink in the local pub, they meet Freddie Puck, a well-known TV hypnotist and find themselves agreeing to a dare – to stay out all night on the hills by the standing stones.
Local mythology says a young married couple will find true happiness if they can last a whole night there on Midsummer’s Eve. But as night time falls, not everyone seems to have remembered the boundaries of love…’ (courtesy of JuliaWilliamsauthor.com)
I’m a big fan of Veronica Henry’s books so I had high hopes that this book would be for me when she was referenced, I haven’t read any books by Julia Williams before.
I found this book a struggle to begin with and I admit it took me quite a while to read from start to finish. I think an issue for me was that I didn’t feel a bond with the characters, at least in the early stages, they all seemed a bit self-obsessed (particularly Josie as a typical bridezilla) or cliché. There were also some characters introduced in the early stages aside from the four core characters that I was just confused by (Tatiana and Bron), especially as different time periods were introduced. It almost felt like too completely separate books to begin with and took too long in my opinion to intertwine them with the main story, and even then I’m afraid to say I didn’t feel this added much to the story although I can see why this was done in terms of drawing on a similar character base to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I also found the build-up to the hypnotism quite slow and repetitive in terms of building up a readers expectations of it, I just wanted to get there and see if what I thought was going to happen did! I started to enjoy the book once we reach the hypnotism, the fact that it occurs at night meant there was a lot of tension and it felt quite atmospheric. I found it quite comical what happens between the different characters and a lot of twists and turns are involved. It is during this evening that I started to warm to the characters more, when they were being more ‘real’ (or are they?), particularly Diane when we develop an understanding for why her relationship with Ant is so fraught.
At some points though it just seemed quite silly and seemed to keep going back and forth between the ‘will they won’t they’ between the characters but overall I enjoyed this, I certainly didn’t know how it was going to end up even though I thought at the beginning it may be a predictable read. I was pleased with the ending and glad my prediction for how it would end had been wrong.
Becky Gulc lives in York, England. When she's doesn't have her head in a book, she works as a Social Researcher (anything to do with children and families). Becky is undertaking creative writing courses and aspires to be a fully fledged writer too, one day... she was proud to be a finalist in the Novelicious Undiscovered writing competition this year, her first writing competition entry! You can find her on Facebook and Twitter if you would like to get to know her better.