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Cancel the Wedding: A Novel by Carolyn T.…
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Cancel the Wedding: A Novel

by Carolyn T. Dingman

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Showing 5 of 5
I gave it only three stars, but liked it well enough to stay up late to finish! Great escape read, not too light. ( )
  EllenH | May 24, 2016 |
I received this book for free as part of a giveaway from Bookperk ( )
  lilnursesuhy | Mar 4, 2015 |
I really enjoyed spending time with the characters in this story. I don't know that I'd be friends with all of them in real life, but all of the "good guys" were quirky and a bit madcap. It was fun to see what silly things they'd do next, especially Olivia. Despite the small surprises, the overall plot was predictable. This book was your average romance with little to set it apart from other books in the genre. The "terrible wrong" referred to in the official blurb isn't a big deal and the only part of the book I didn't see coming was something I didn't find believable when it happened.

The writing is good and I think the author's creation of her main characters is particularly strong. The people characterized as villains are much less fleshed out though. They mostly feel like stereotypes. The main character is frustratingly stupid about her relationships, thoughtlessly doing things which are obviously going to hurt other people later. Despite my complaints about this story, I had a surprisingly good time reading it. I think as long as you go into it expecting a fun, light, predictable story and don't mind suspending disbelief a bit, this could be an enjoyable read for you too.This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jan 29, 2015 |
Carolyn T. Dingman’s debut novel, CANCEL THE WEDDING, a compelling Southern contemporary novel with a mixture of mystery, and light romance, as one woman uncovers buried family secrets of the past, and her journey to discovering her own future.

Olivia has a nice career, a sister, niece, and a handsome fiancé. Her mom has recently died from cancer, and when her final wish is revealed, Olivia and her sister Georgia are baffled. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to the area to visit, so they are unsure why she wants them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes.

Olivia is engaged to Leo, and plans for her upcoming wedding has her overwhelmed and she feels backed into a corner as they finalize their plans—things are moving too fast. (they are not a great fit, as they have been going to a therapist). She decides this will be a good time to have some time alone to clear her head and make an escape. Her older sister Georgia does not think it is a good idea, nor does her overbearing finance, Leo. However, her fourteen year old niece, Logan decides to accompany her on the road trip from Maryland to Huntley, Georgia to scatter her mom’s ashes.

When Olivia arrives in this southern town, she begins her investigation to attain clues of her mom’s secret past. Through a private letter delivered to the two sisters, by Janie’s (their mom) lawyer, after her death requesting half of her ashes be spread at Lake Huntley, northern Georgia and half at a grave site in Huntley Memorial Gardens. Georgia and Olivia are puzzled by this request, as Janie had never talked about her youth in Huntley.

As the investigation begins, a local guy, Elliott, who runs the local newspaper is quite helpful, and they have much in common. He is supportive of her efforts, whereas Leo is not. As she begins to uncover more about her mom’s past, Olivia decides to extend her stay and rent a lake house, and her niece falls for a local boy Graham and becomes a camp counselor.

Olivia finds her mom had a secret life and as painful as it was, she had never mentioned her past; however, Olivia makes it her mission to carry out her mom’s dreams and learns the events and the reason for the request. Throughout the book there is a parallel between Olivia’s current relationship and that of her mom’s past. Olivia discovers more about herself while, discovering her mom’s painful past.

As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life and truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past - and say yes to her own desire to start over.

When I first noticed the front cover, of CANCEL THE WEDDING, appeared to be a road trip, similar to Claire Cook or Joshilyn Jackson humorous drama, with a gal escaping her wedding. However, it was much more, than a chick-lit, with the multi-generational saga of one family’s history of dark secrets of the past. While there is a past romance of her moms, and a new romance budding; however, the mystery and events of the past is front and center.

I enjoyed the fresh, hip and natural dialogue between teen, Logan and Olivia, as well as the funny local characters. My favorite character was Elliott, as the boy next door, and totally disliked Leo and Georgia. I listened to the audio version and enjoyed the narrator, Tavia Gilbert with a nice performance of all voices.

Since I lived in Atlanta most of my life prior to moving to South Florida, always glad to discover new authors in the South. Fans of Sarah Jio or those readers enjoying a light mystery or historical contemporary fiction, with the multi-generational tie in, and complex family dynamics. Look forward to reading more from Carolyn!
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 26, 2014 |
I went into this expecting a pretty average, 3-star, summer romance. I expected to see Olivia getting cold feet before her wedding, running off to think about things, and then the situation being resolved by Olivia either realizing her finacé is her one-true-love after all or dumping him for good in favor of her REAL one-true-love who she meets during her ‘escape’. And for the first part of the book, the book appeared to meet my expectations. The book was moving slowing and predictably, but okay, when suddenly about 100 pages into the book, the story developed into one that I could not put down!

Olivia grew up never hearing stories of her mother’s childhood, so is mystified that her mother left instructions to have her ashes scattered in the hometown of which she never spoke. Olivia is determined to find answers to this mystery by returning to her mother’s hometown. But with each answer she finds, many more questions appear as she retraces her mother’s past. As an amateur family historian, I could definitely relate to this! I found her search for answers and the discovery of her Olivia’s family history fascinating, and I felt her excitement as she learned each new fact and ‘met’ her ancestors!

Yes, this is a romance, and yes, there is a happy ending….but this is so much more than just another summer romance!

his book review is included in a tour by TLC Book Tours. I received a review copy of this book and have given my an honest review, which you can read above. ( )
  Time2Read2 | Sep 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062276727, Paperback)

A heartfelt fiction debut that will appeal to fans of Emily Giffin’s Southern charm and Jennifer Weiner’s compelling, emotionally resonant novels about the frustrations of blood ties, Cancel the Wedding follows one woman’s journey to discover the secrets of her mother’s hidden past—and confront her own uncertain future.

On the surface, Olivia has it all: a high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiancé. She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane’s premature death from cancer. But when Jane’s final wish is revealed, Olivia and her elder sister Georgia are mystified. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to visit—so why does she want them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes?

Jane’s request offers Olivia a temporary escape from the reality she’s long been denying: she hates her “dream” job, and she’s not really sure she wants to marry her groom-to-be. With her 14-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads South on a summer road trip looking for answers about her mother.

As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life—truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past—and say yes to her own desire to start over?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

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