My enormous thanks to the lovely folk at to Team Bookends for sending me a surprise copy of Three Weddings and a Proposal by Sheila O’Flanagan. I’m a huge fan of Sheila’s writing and it’s an irony that I haven’t managed to read as many of her books as I would like since I began blogging.
It has been my pleasure to listen to Sheila speak about her writing on several occasions both virtually and in real life, most recently on 21st April, when I was thrilled to be in a select Zoom group call organised by Ellie Morley, Marketing Executive at Headline.
Previously when Sheila celebrated the paperback publication day for The Women Who Ran Away, I was delighted to be able to share an extract from the book here.
Sheila and I stayed in together here to chat about Her Husband’s Mistake.
Today, however, I am sharing my review of Sheila’s latest book, Three Weddings and a Proposal.
Three Weddings and a Proposal will be published by Headline Review on 20th May 2021 and is available for purchase here.
Three Weddings and a Proposal
At the first wedding, there‘s a shock
The second wedding is unexpected
By the third, Delphie thinks nothing could surprise her. But she’s wrong . . .
Delphie is enjoying her brother’s wedding. Her surprise last-minute Plus One has stunned her family – and it’s also stopped any of them asking again why she’s still single. But when she sees all the missed calls that evening, she knows it can’t be good news. And she’s right.
Delphie has been living her best life, loving her job, her friends, her no-strings relationships and her dream house by the sea. Now she has to question everything she believed about who she is and what she wants. Is her mum right – is it time to settle down? Or does she want to keep on trying to have it all?
Each wedding of a glorious summer brings a new surprise. And as everything Delphie thought she had is threatened, she has the chance to reshape her future . . .
My Review of Three Weddings and a Proposal
Delphine Mertens has life fully under control – probably.
My goodness I enjoyed Three Weddings and a Proposal. It’s simply gorgeous and is a perfect example of women’s fiction at its very best, because of Sheila O’Flanagan’s consummate story telling. I loved Delphie’s conversational tone from the very beginning because it was like I was listening to a friend chat with me, or even as if I were inhabiting her mind so that I found myself becoming her and seeing everything through Delphie’s perspective. I thought the couple of allusions to the Covid pandemic as if it were in the past were deftly done, so that whilst it didn’t play any part in this narrative, Sheila’s O’Flanagan’s story seemed more realistic and credible because the pandemic was mentioned in passing rather than ignored. But most of all I loved the narrative itself because it’s a hugely entertaining, utterly believable story with some major weight behind it. The plotting is razor sharp, often surprising and always captivating with just enough descriptive detail to enhance and colour the text beautifully.
That weight and depth of Three Weddings and a Proposal comes through the exploration of what it means to be a modern woman; to have relationships, a career, parenthood and family responsibilities. Sheila O’Flanagan’s story is actually quite feminist without deriding any counter perspectives, but rather illustrating how we can be supportive of one another so that Three Weddings and a Proposal felt mature, interesting and above all else, a story with characters I could relate to entirely. In illustrating how Delphie learns to be comfortable in her own skin whilst stepping out of her comfort zone I thought Sheila O’Flanagan had achieved more for female self esteem and self-help than any non-fiction book might have managed.
Indeed, I thought Delphie was fantastic. Her experience of working in a male dominated environment, her relationship with Ed and her friendship with Sheedy and Erin held my attention completely. Reading Three Weddings and a Proposal completely transported me into their world. What I thought worked so well was that the men are not all useless idiots that sometimes happens in women’s fiction. Here they have identity, flaws and attractions that made the whole story all the more real.
Three Weddings and a Proposal Is a fabulous book. Rounded characters experiencing real life events that any reader can relate to in a superbly plotted narrative mean this book is ideal for escaping into. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it completely. I thought it was brilliant.
About Sheila O’Flanagan
Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of bestselling chart-toppers, including Her Husband’s Mistake, The Hideaway, What Happened That Night, The Missing Wife, My Mother’s Secret and All For You (winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award). After working in banking and finance for a number of years, Sheila’s love for writing blossomed into curating stories about relationships in all their many forms.