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A Wedding in Provence by Ellen Sussman
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A Wedding in Provence

by Ellen Sussman

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Showing 5 of 5
I really enjoyed this book. Of course I really enjoy the south of France. This book is about Olivia and Brody's second marriage in their 50s at Olivia's best friend Emily's inn. It's about love, family, life, and relationships. It covers about a weekend amount of time so you don't go too in depth with the characters. You learn just enough about each character to get a little bit about their personalities and what makes them tick. This is a short book so it's a fast read. I got lost in the story. This is a great read when it's a cold day and you don't want to do anything but escape to the south of France. I did cry just a little bit.

I won this on Goodreads. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Going into this book, I knew that it would be a wedding type book. I knew that it would be set in a beautiful part of France. I knew there would be some drama. I got all of that plus more. I thought that it would be focused on the wedding and less on the character development or the scenery, but I was happily wrong.

I’ve never been to France but Sussman makes it so easy to picture the scenery. Her writing was spectacular in this book. It’s hard to picture a place that you’ve never been without great description and that’s what I got in this book. If I ever thought I didn’t want to go to France, then now I definitely do. Not only did the fabulous writing help the scenery, but it helped with the character development. With timely flashbacks to Pre-Wedding, I got to know more about the characters and see how they ended up at the end. Every character seemed to grow in their own way.

Some characters grew up; some characters grew out; and some characters grew in. Carly grew out. She was always the quiet one, but by the end she was taking up the space she finally saw that she deserved. She became selfish and impulsive. She did what she needed to do. I enjoyed watching her development and growth the most. Nell grew in. She realized it’s not all about her and that she is not the only one hurting. She was always self destructive and raw. By the end, she found out what was important to her and that she needed to work to get it. Jake, Brody’s longtime best friend, didn’t get a huge spot in this book but I definitely think he grew up. He had his moments where I wanted to beat him up and he had his moments where I might have high-fived him.

The greatest part about this book for me was that it was more than just a book about a wedding. It was about a family growing together while all of them are going through rough times while they are going through as awesome time. The story, for me, was more about the sisters coming together and being there for each other when they needed it most. It was more about the story of two older people finding love again after losing it before. It’s about changing yourself if you don’t like who you are. I went into this book thinking that it would be a light summery beach read and I got life lesson as well, so I would call that a win.

I also enjoyed that this book was about older people falling in love. Brody and Olivia are in their 50′s and are getting married in France. How perfect is that? My dad is in his late 40′s and is getting married next year so I read this at the perfect time. It’s nice to see a book that focuses on older people that especially older people that are starting over in a way.

Carly reminded me of Lena in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She’s quiet and reserved and then finally breaks out and becomes who she always wanted to be. Nell reminded me of Bridget in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Lucky for me, those are my two favorite characters. I saw obvious parallels Carly and Lena; and Nell and Bridget.

I would suggest that if you’re going to read this book: have google translate open if you don’t know French. I only know the very basic words and there was some French in this book which I had to look up. Obviously the book is going to have some French because they are in France. I’ve also decided that I want to learn French but I highly doubt it would go well.

Really, this was a fantastic book and I highly plan on looking for more things by Ellen Sussman. She is a great writer and writes awesome characters. This was such a strong book that I could relate to. ( )
  beearedee | Feb 14, 2015 |
Olivia and Brody are a fiftyish year old couple who plan to get married in France at the hotel owned by her best friend and husband. The only guests will be Brody's best friend, his mom and Olivia's two daughters. Instead of a quiet romantic weekend, everyone has problems. One of the daughters brings a man from the airplane as her date, the other daughter comes without her boyfriend, the best friend dislikes Olivia, Brody's parents have recently split up and the best friends are not getting along. Will Olivia and Brody be able to get married and find happiness with all the chaos going on around them? Read the book and find out! Its a fun read about a beautiful place and it will give you several hours of enjoyment! ( )
  susan0316 | Sep 28, 2014 |
I received this from NetGalley to read and review. Olivia is in her fifties and about to marry Brody, a one-time vet who left his practice in Wyoming to be with Olivia. They have decided to marry at Olivia’s close college friend’s B&B in the south of France. Olivia’s two daughters come for the wedding. The younger, Carly, appears to every parent’s dream child: good looking, smart, a successful businesswoman involved with another successful businessman. However, all is not what it seems. Carly arrives without her guy, but with some quirky, made-up reasons why he did not come to the wedding. Olivia’s other daughter Nell is a free spirit, an aspiring actress who just hasn’t quite made it to the big time yet. She has no beau but brings a guy she meets on the lane to the wedding party/weekend. As the weekend progresses, things spiral out of hand quickly. Nell’s “date” leaves. Carly mysteriously goes off on her own. Olivia’s friend and her husband encounter some rough patches in their marriage. Brody’s mother, deserted recently by her long time husband arrives, uncertain what to do or say, smarting still from her husband’s departure from her life but trying valiantly to be strong for appearances and her son Brody. The story is filled with many personal challenges and changes for all involved. I thoroughly enjoyed the smooth flow of the story and storyline. The characters were realistic and well done. Sometimes I felt sorry for Olivia, having children who went every which way but the way a parent would hope. I also found the way Brody coped with all the drama involved was admirable. This is a great summer read, which will keep the reader glued to the book, wondering what will happen next or how things will turn out. I received this from NetGalley to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Aug 23, 2014 |
Hoping for a quiet, intimate wedding surrounded by their closest friends and family, mid-life sweethearts Olivia and Brody are enchanted with the beauty of Provence. But soon after their arrival, trouble brews when the owner of their inn – Olivia’s best friend Emily – learns that her husband cheated on her with another woman. This calamity is followed by the revelation that Olivia’s eldest daughter Nell has brought an unannounced companion with her, the man who sat next to her on the airplane to France, a stranger whose only connection to Nell is a strong sexual attraction. Younger daughter Carly is the next to arrive, sans beau, when her Silicon Valley boyfriend couldn’t get time off work to make the trip to France. As her guests stew over their unsuccessful romances, Olivia’s fretting over her own impending nuptials kicks into high gear.

I picked up a copy of this book, knowing that it was not my usual fare, because it was my store’s Book Club title for August. It really wasn’t for me.

The plot is a soap opera. Every guest at this wedding is having some sort of issue in the romance department. The best friend’s husband cheated, one daughter’s too promiscuous while the other is stuck in a dead relationship with a workaholic. One woman’s husband left her. The best man is a lifelong bachelor who can’t commit to any one woman. Sounds like a mess, right? It is. It seems like no one is at the wedding to celebrate the love between Olivia and Brody – no, everyone is just trying to escape their own problems in magical Provence.

Yet, despite this miasma of negativity, the power of Love and last-minute revelations ensures that all stories find suitably happy endings, with all loose ends neatly tied up, by the final page. It’s tidy, it’s clean, and goodness is it predictable.

This is a book in which not much happens. The majority of the action takes place at a rustic Provencal inn, and while a few characters go out on a kayaking excursion and a few others explore an attractive little French town, most of the story revolves around eating, sleeping, and having sex, intermingled with arguments between family members. Perhaps in the hands of a different writer, these scenes could have been made more interesting, but Sussman’s prosaic style did nothing to elevate the dull moments that are always eliminated from the Facebook version of a dream vacation.

I will say this for A Wedding in Provence - it reads very quickly and smoothly. It may have bored me nearly to tears, but I know a lot of older women (my mother, for one) who love stories like this. The romance and the happy ending, driven by character conflict, are just what they want in a summer beach read. ( )
  makaiju | Aug 15, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345548957, Hardcover)

Ellen Sussman, nationally bestselling author of French Lessons, delivers a feast for the senses in A Wedding in Provence—a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France.
 
When Olivia and Brody drive up to their friend’s idyllic inn—nestled in a valley in the Mediterranean town of Cassis—they know they’ve chosen the perfect spot for their wedding. The ceremony will be held in the lush garden, and the reception will be a small party of only their closest family and friends. But when Olivia’s and Brody’s guests check in, their peaceful wedding weekend is quickly thrown off balance.
 
The first to arrive is Nell, Olivia’s oldest daughter from her first marriage. Impulsive and reckless, she invites a complete stranger to be her guest at the wedding—an enigmatic man who is both alluring and a bit dangerous. The next is Carly, Olivia’s youngest daughter, the responsible and pragmatic one. Away from her demanding job and a strained relationship, she feels an urgent need to cut loose—and for once do something brash and unpredictable. Then there is Jake, Brody’s playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody’s mother, who is coping with the fallout of her own marriage. And in the middle of it all is Olivia, navigating the dramas, joys, and pitfalls of planning a wedding and starting a new life.
 
A delicious, escapist, and utterly enchanting novel, A Wedding in Provence captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love.

Advance praise for Wedding in Provence
 
“Utterly charming and wildly romantic.”—Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
 
Praise for The Paradise Guest House
 
“With well-drawn, genuinely likable lead characters, [The Paradise Guest House] takes readers on an edgy island adventure over memorable emotional terrain.”—Associated Press
 
“[A] touching panorama of paradise.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
Praise for French Lessons
 
“[A] luscious novel of love and longing . . . The narrative feels as light as a glass of rosé at an outdoor café, but its insights carry the richness of a Burgundy.”People (four stars)
 
“Sizzling escapist reading.”—Entertainment Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:06 -0400)

"Ellen Sussman, nationally bestselling author of French Lessons, delivers a feast for the senses in A Wedding in Provence--a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France. When Olivia and Brody drive up to their friend's idyllic inn--nestled in a valley in the Mediterranean town of Cassis--they know they've chosen the perfect spot for their wedding. The ceremony will be held in the lush garden, and the reception will be a small party of only their closest family and friends. But when Olivia and Brody's guests check in, their peaceful wedding weekend is quickly thrown off balance. The first to arrive is Nell, Olivia's oldest daughter from her first marriage. Impulsive and reckless, she invites a complete stranger--an enigmatic man who is both alluring and a bit dangerous--to be her guest at the wedding. The next is Carly, Olivia's youngest daughter, the responsible and pragmatic one. Away from her demanding job and a strained relationship, she feels an urgent need to cut loose--and for once do something brash and unpredictable. Then there is Jake, Brody's playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody's mother, who is coping with the fallout of her own marriage. And in the middle of it all is Olivia, navigating the dramas, joys, and pitfalls of planning a wedding and starting a new life. A delicious, compelling, and utterly enchanting novel, A Wedding in Provence captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love. Advance praise for Wedding in Provence "Utterly charming and wildly romantic."--Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train Praise for The Paradise Guest House "With well-drawn, genuinely likable lead characters, [The Paradise Guest House] takes readers on an edgy island adventure over memorable emotional terrain."--Associated Press "[A] touching panorama of paradise."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) Praise for French Lessons "[A] luscious novel of love and longing. The narrative feels as light as a glass of rose at an outdoor cafe, but its insights carry the richness of a Burgundy."--People (four stars) "Sizzling escapist reading."--Entertainment Weekly"--… (more)

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