Wednesday 19 June 2013

Someone Else's Wedding by Tamar Cohen

I was delighted to receive a copy of Someone Else's Wedding, the third novel by Tamar Cohen which is published by Doubleday, Random House on 20 June 2013.

I adored both of Tamar Cohen's previous novels; The Mistress's Revenge and War of the Wives and was very much looking forward to seeing what she would produce next.    It's quite difficult to say that an author is a 'favourite' with only two novels to their name, but Someone Else's Wedding has confirmed that yes, Tamar Cohen is right up there as one of my favourites.

The author is skilled at dissecting relationships, a theme that runs through her novels quite clearly.  No more so than in Someone Else's Wedding which takes place over 36 hours, in a swish hotel where the guests have gathered to celebrate the marriage of Jamie and Lucy.    The central family, the Friedmans have all been invited, and it is Fran Friedman, the mother whose presence is felt strongest by the reader.   Fran and her husband Saul appear, on the surface, to be a happily married couple with two grown daughters.  Underneath though, they are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a much-wanted and anticipated 'late' baby.  Their little girl Molly was stillborn two years ago and this tragic event has changed their lives and how they see each other ever since.

The reader knows that the Friedmans are friends of the groom's family, but it soon becomes very clear that Fran and the groom; Jamie, share something more.   Tamar Cohen excels in leading the reader up the garden path, only to make a sharp turn just when you think you've worked it out.  

This story is a pretty intense read, there is a darkness and air of foreboding over the wedding celebrations, with secrets and lies just waiting to escape.  

Tamar Cohen portrays her characters brilliantly, none of them are incredibly likeable, not even grief stricken Fran, but each of them are vivid and realistic, even the bit-players that are on the sideline to the story.

I really do enjoy this author's unique style of writing, she turns what could be an ordinary, maybe predictable story into a compelling, sometimes quite chilling read.  

A hugely enjoyable read, great characters, clever pacing and enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged right to the very end.

My thanks go to Aislinn Casey who sent a copy for review on behalf of the publisher.

Tamar Cohen is a freelance journalist who lives in London with her partner and three teenage children.  She is the author of the acclaimed The War of the Wives and The Mistress's Revenge.
Follow her on twitter @mstamarcohen

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