Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Provided Synopsis: The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride’s late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter’s future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event–but in reality, things are far from perfect.
While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed. Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a touching journey in Beautiful Day — into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honor our commitments
Review: The approach the author took to the telling of this story took me for a loop. Despite it being Jenna’s wedding, she is not the main character of the story, nor is the reader provided with any insight from her point of view. Instead, we receive the story of Jenna’s wedding weekend from her older sister, Margot, her father, Doug, and her soon-to-be-mother-in-law, Ann. The combination of these characters was unexpected and together they represented a very jagged and bitter perspective on love. Sure, at one point all of the characters provided with a voice had experienced love (or what they thought to be the ever-lasting type of love) but circumstances in their lives have altered their opinions on love so much that at times this was a bit of a depressing book to read. I would have really liked it if I had been able to read about Jenna’s wedding from the perspective ofJenna.
The plethora of characters also made Beautiful Day a bit heavy handed. Very few of the characters were likable which made it difficult to care about the drama they brought to the wedding. In the span of a few short days there seems to be so much chaos and turmoil that I would have not blamed Jenna at all if she would have decided to boot people from her wedding party, but we will never even know if she thought about that due to the perspective problems that I have already harped upon. The only other thing that I believe is worth mentioning about this book is that I did enjoy the excepts from the Notebook left behind by Jenna and Margot’s deceased mother to detail how she would go about the wedding planning process. I found the mother’s words to be insightful, especially in the areas of love, invitations, registries, etc.
Elin Hilderbrand is a good writer and I do consider this book to be well written. I’m not opposed to giving another one of her novels a shot. This one, unfortunately, just did not hit the mark for me as much as I would have liked.