My enormous thanks to the lovely team at Bookends for sending me a copy of The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall and to Jenny Platt at Hodder for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. I’m delighted to share my review of The Secret Bridesmaid today.
The Secret Bridesmaid was published by Hodder on 13th May and is available for purchase through these links.
The Secret Bridesmaid
Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.
As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is secretly hired by brides to be their right-hand woman, ensuring their big day goes off without a hitch. From wrangling rowdy hen dos to navigating last minute portaloo cancellations, there’s no problem she can’t solve.
So when she’s employed by an actual Marchioness to help plan the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.
Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Cordelia, is rude, difficult and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient when Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. And when a rival society wedding is announced, things get even more complicated . . .
Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career, follow her heart and maintain her reputation – all while keeping her true identity hidden?
My Review of The Secret Bridesmaid
Sophie Breeze has her most challenging assignment yet!
My goodness I enjoyed Katy Birchall’s The Secret Bridesmaid. It was fun, innovative, entertaining and sheer escapism. Just at the very moment when the world felt as if there would never be another wedding, social event or party again, The Secret Bridesmaid afforded me the opportunity to enjoy them through Sophie’s work and I enjoyed every moment.
I thought the structure of The Secret Bridesmaid was excellent. Although this is a romantic comedy, there is depth to the narrative and Katy Birchall has a deft touch at lightening the more serious moments through texts, emails and WhatsApp group messages so that there’s a realism and humour running through the story. I laughed aloud several times and felt a tear in my eye at others. I loved the way the plot sped along, keeping my attention absolutely throughout.
The characterisation works brilliantly. I had initially feared Cordelia might be irredeemable, but the Shakespearean connotation of her name, that her words might belie an honest and loyal individual, was wonderfully explored and led me to understand her and to want her to be happy. Indeed, I was more rapt by her relationship with Sophie than I was in any of the romantic relationships, although I thoroughly enjoyed them too. In The Secret Bridesmaid, Katy Birchall shows a real understanding of what makes us behave as we do.
Aside from excellent entertainment and vivid and engaging characters, however, are some surprisingly weighty and though-provoking themes that make Katy Birchall’s writing all the more attractive. The Secret Bridesmaid considers loyalty, betrayal and trust, friendship, relationships and family, professionalism, celebrity and manipulation in several different ways so that I was completely engaged with the narrative.
I fear my review hasn’t truly conveyed what a smashing read this is, but I don’t want to spoil this super book for others by revealing too much. Katy Birchall has written a cracker of a story in The Secret Bridesmaid that deserves to be packed into every beach bag and suitcase because it would be a perfect holiday read. And if we can’t get away or attend a wedding this summer, The Secret Bridesmaid is the next best thing. It is completely immersive entertainment and I finished The Secret Bridesmaid feeling happy and uplifted. What could be better?
About Katy Birchall
Katy is the author of several young adult novels including The It Girl series, the Hotel Royale series and Morgan Charmley: Teen Witch. She is the co-author of the middle grade Lightning Girl series and Star Switch with Alesha Dixon, and the Find the Girl teen series with YouTube stars Lucy and Lydia Connell. Katy was proud to be the author of a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma for the Awesomely Austen series, a collection of Austen’s novels retold for younger readers. She has also written a non-fiction book, How to be a Princess: Real-Life Fairy Tales for Modern Heroines. Katy lives in London with her partner, Ben, and her rescue dog, Bono. The Secret Bridesmaid is her first adult novel.
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