Saturday, January 31, 2015

After the Wedding by Roisin Meaney

4 Star

It's the beginning of May on the island of Roone, two years after Nell Mulcahy called off her wedding to the handsome Tim. Now she's preparing for another wedding - to Tim's brother - but as she sets off for an old church in County Clare, a disappearance on Roone throws the island into turmoil.

As the days pass and the search continues, the islanders cope as best they can - Nell adjusting to life as a married woman, Imelda and Hugh discovering the trials of fostering, Laura pregnant and under pressure and teenage Andy finding his first love.

Every summer on the island is eventful, but this year brings challenges that test everyone's courage. Will happiness be restored before autumn comes, or will Roone's magic finally run out?

Kathryn - 4 Star

I believe that After the Wedding is a sequel to Meaney’s previous novel One Summer.  I had no idea this was the case until I finished the book and it certainly didn’t affect my enjoyment of the read (but now I’d like to go back and read the first novel and see what I missed!).

I found the writing a bit difficult at first- I don’t think there was anything wrong with it in the slightest but it took me some time to get used to the way the people were presented and to get into the plot.  There are a large number of characters to follow and as most are related to each other in some way (but not all!) I took some time getting used to them all before really following the threads entirely.

One thing I liked very much about After the Wedding was the island of Roone itself. When I was a child I used to visit my great-aunt who lived on the island of Millport and this reminded me very much of those holidays.  I was immediately attracted to the closeness of the inhabitants, the simpler way of living and the sense of community.  However with that small community feel when someone does something that is disapproved of you could spend a lifetime having others accept your choices.  That would be very difficult to overcome which was the case for Nell’s father. I felt the empathy though for him from his daughter which warmed my heart and connected her to him in a wonderful way- that bond for her was important having lost her mother recently.  

There are so many great story lines that it’s hard to pinpoint a favourite. I loved Imelda and Hugh, their love and frustration for the child they are fostering were felt across the page and Laura’s B&B was fabulously chaotic- the imminent arrival of her second set of twins while running this hotel single-handedly was great for comic relief as the underlying plot of the missing child was felt by every resident of Roone. 

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely welcome another Roisin Meaney novel to my book shelf.

Thank you to Hachette Books Ireland for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Roisin Meaney:
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