Question: What do you get when you combine "Steel Magnolias", "The Yada Yada Sisterhood", and "The Wedding Planner", then take out the "ick" factor and add in the faith element?
Answer: A delightful Southern lit novel titled "The Wedding Machine" by Beth Webb Hart, due out in January 2008!
Ray Montgomery has inherited Miss Roberta's wedding planner skills and equipment, and she has vowed to keep the old Southern traditional wedding alive and well in Jasper, South Carolina. Together with her high school friends Kitty B., Hilda, and Sis, they are known as "The Wedding Machine".
Pulling weddings and the pre-wedding celebrations off without a hitch is what they do best. Living their own lives...well, that can get kinda shaky. Each of these Southern belles have a hidden hurt (some more well hidden than others) that they contend with.
As each of the second generation women (their daughters) begin marrying off, The Wedding Machine begins experience some difficulty, and eventually grinds to a complete stop. This is a fun and beautiful story told from each woman's perspective, and you're sure to see yourself somewhere in these pages.
I fell in love with this story from the first page. Beth did a wonderful job of writing the current story and adding in flashbacks as backdrop...it flowed like water. Her description paints a vivid picture of Jasper, and each woman stood out and had great character development.
Usually in novels about groups of women, someone gets overlooked, or stands out. Even though we start out with Ray and it's obvious she's the "main character", each lady has her say and has her own voice...this was just very well done!
Made me glad I'm not from the south if that's what their weddings are like!
But it also made me long for those deep, deep roots Southerners are so well known for...the rich heritage that remains when loved ones are long gone, and the tradition that can provide stability, as long as it doesn't get in the way of God's love and family values.
This is a fun novel with a powerful message of friendship, moving forward, and finding faith in the most unexpected of places. I give "The Wedding Machine" five out of five bookmarks, with a teeny tiny statue of a bashful little girl, complete with her own wardrobe--and you'll just have to wait to read the book when it releases in January of 2008 to find out why!!