When all of your girlfriends are getting married and settling
happily into domestic bliss while you remain single, it can make
you wonder about your own chances at everlasting happiness. After
all, one does dream of one's own frilly, white extravaganza
complete with cake, champagne, a troop of miserable bridesmaids and
a handsome, kind and caring Prince Charming.
Cate Padgett, like every other girl, dreams of her own wedding as
she is forced to suffer one indignity after another in order to
fulfill the fantasies of her closest friend. Such indignities
include posing for endless photographs in ugly bridesmaid
ensembles, forking out thousands of dollars for dresses, shoes,
hairdos and presents, and giving up her personal time and
Cate accepts the humiliating fittings, strange requests, photo ops
and expensive, ugly and ill-fitting shoes with grace and aplomb as
one friend after another makes the foray into marriage. Meanwhile,
she ponders the state of her own wavering relationship and wonders
when and if she, too, will join the ranks of the happily engaged
and soon-to-be married.
Paul, Cate's businessman boyfriend, seems happy enough with the
status quo. There are no "I love yous" exchanged or even a mention
of commitment to the future, despite the fact that they've been
dating for a year. His inability to commit is apparent in his
ability to go several days at a time without speaking to Cate or
even seemingly giving her a second thought.
Meanwhile, Ethan, a childhood friend, returns to Cate's life,
making her wonder why suddenly he seems so much more appealing than
the man she has spent the last year with. Still, Ethan is a friend
and to imagine him as boyfriend material isn't in Cate's makeup,
despite the fact that she makes frequent note of Paul's
shortcomings compared to Ethan's glowing qualities.
While Cate is busy with four weddings, a trip to Hawaii to spend
some time with Paul, and a trip to Vegas to help yet another
girlfriend celebrate her impending nuptials with an especially
risqué bachelorette party (lap dances included), she still has
time to consider the state of her current relationship.
Cate is like many other young women of today, dating the man whom
she knows is not The One and wondering when Mr. Right will appear.
It only makes it harder to accept the unknown when everyone around
you is pairing up.
ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID is the newest addition to the tidal wave of
Chick Lit currently flooding the shelves of bookstores everywhere.
It's a novel that addresses the angst, trials and tribulations of
today's young, single woman who's not quite sure if she should
rejoice in her freedom or bemoan her spinsterhood. It's also a
novel that will make you want to keep reading in order to see if
Cate is lucky enough to catch one of the many bridal bouquets or if
she's one of the unlucky ones left standing empty-handed.
ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID is the first novel from 26-year-old author
Whitney Lyles, who has drawn on her own bridesmaid experiences to
pen a story of one woman's journey through a round of
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 20, 2011