The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash
Review copy provided by publisher
Hachette Australia, July 2017
This book was sent to me for review, along with a couple of other books this month. The Paris Wedding arrived just at the right time because I started to read this one and then I didn’t want to put it back down. I love the anticipation of starting a new book, along with the subtle wariness; will this book be right for me? Then to discover that it’s a good fit for your mood and it all falls into place.
I’ve read Nash’s previous four books, as you can see in the photo below, they are sitting alongside my other favourite rural romance authors. Only, The Paris Wedding isn’t a typical rural romance. While the story begins, and ends in rural Australia, much of it is set in the city of love, Paris.
Rachael West’s life is in tatters. Her mother has passed away after she’s nursed her for ten years and now she’s nearly thirty and has no idea what to do with the rest of her life. Then she receives a wedding invite to Paris and the groom is her former high school sweetheart, Matthew. Initially Rachael hopes to attend the wedding and find a way to move on from Matthew, but when he hints that he has feelings for her, the plan shifts.
I have to say upfront, that I found Rachael excruciatingly annoying at times. She was so completely infatuated with Matthew and borderline obsessive that it clouded everything else in her life. That’s not to say I found her unlikeable. In fact, I did admire her strength and her creative abilities. In some ways, she was older beyond her years because of the responsibility she’d had with caring for her mother. In many other ways, she was very immature and naïve. Caught up in a fantasy of a former love and struggling to move forward. I found this very frustrating at times. However, Nash does pull in all these elements in a realistic way. I could certainly relate to her feelings of nostalgia for a former time in her life and the hopes she’d had for the future with Matthew.
Nash really brought the setting of Paris to life. It was well contrasted to the dusty farm life Rachael left behind. I particularly enjoyed the love story that developed between Rachael and Antonio and that it didn’t overshadow the personal growth she embarked on throughout the story.
I won’t give away too much of the plot or the romance, but I liked how it was all tied up at the end. The Paris Wedding was a fresh spin on the rural genre. Where the protagonist is usually falling in love with the countryside and leading a quieter life, Rachael on the other hand, was finding her place outside the rural lifestyle in the midst of all the city chaos. An enjoyable read.
This book was read as part of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.