From Publishers Weekly
In this engrossing novel with weddings as the centerpiece, Hart (Adelaide Piper
; Grace at Low Tide
) explores the relationships between women, daughters and husbands. Four high school girls bond in the small low-country town of Jasper, S.C. Now middle-aged members of All Saints Episcopal Church, they happily plan weddings for their loved ones that bring about unanticipated turns of events. It's a bumpy road: still grieving the loss of her true love, Elizabeth Sis Mims relies on her happy pills and contemplates dating the minister. Ray Montgomery's daughter wants to marry a preacher's son in a tacky contemporary strip mall church that offends Ray's desire to be exquisitely correct. Hilda Prescott mourns her divorce, and Kitty B. Blalock wrestles with her husband's lingering maladies. Sis muses, Well, that's the way it is with weddings and life in general... one near disaster after another and a whole lot of what some call ignorant bliss. Occasionally Hart overdescribes, and there are faint echoes of Steel Magnolias
and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
throughout, but Hart's writing is lovely, her characters endearing, and humor leavens the darker moments. Midlife women will find plenty to relate to, and the wedding plot line is an invitation to myriad details on food, decorations and points of Southern etiquette. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
For decades in Jasper, South Carolina, every wedding has been planned according to long-standing customs. The women who guard these traditions, the Wedding Guild, have been friends since girlhood and now it’s the summer of their daughters’ weddings. Ray, the group’s leader, uses her perfectionist tendencies to mask her lower-class past. Sis lets memories of her long-dead fiancé keep her from new love. Kitty B. spends so much effort on her hypochondriac husband, she’s forgotten to take care of herself. Hilda, once the princess of Jasper, has become a recluse since her divorce. The friends must band together to keep their town’s customs—and their own dreams—thriving. Hart, the author of Grace at Low Tide (2005) and Adelaide Piper (2006), uses Christian themes in her fiction but avoids being sanctimonious. This is a pleasing exploration of female friendship that brings to mind Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (1996). --Aleksandra Walker