Cover Image: After the Wedding

After the Wedding

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Member Reviews

AFTER THE WEDDING - LAURA ELLIOT

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Thank you for @netgallery and Laura Elliot for the ARC of this book. 

"When Christine Lewis was a little girl, she witnessed something terrible at a wedding and buried it so deep in her memory, she managed to forget it ever happened."

Wow, this was such a gripping and fast read for me! The plot was something different and i found it so addictive. I loved how the characters and their histories were so entwined and the jumping between Christine's & Jessica's POV. 

This is perfect for suspense and crime / mystery thriller lovers! 

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After the Wedding by Laura Elliott is one of those thrillers that if you know what it’s actually about, it is much more entertaining. 
Let me try to explain. 
It is promoted as a psych thriller, so the reader goes in expecting that something happens at a wedding and the rest of the book has to do with the immediate aftermath. It is a logical assumption. 
However, this is not that book. 
Yes, there is something that occurs at a wedding in the opening chapter. But then the action moves forward several years, and the wedding is barely mentioned again (for the most part). I suppose the whole thing is after the wedding, if you want to look at it that way.  
The rest of the book is definitely more thriller than anything else. I did not get a psych thriller vibe from it at all. In fact, it is a detailed and complicated plot that involves much more than meets the eye.
I don’t want to give anything away, but if you want to enjoy After the Wedding, you definitely need to have the mindset that it is NOT a quick and entertaining psych thriller. Take it for what it is, and you will enjoy it much more. 
The author’s style of writing is sometimes difficult to follow. A scene will be in the present and then within a paragraph of explanation, the action will be days or weeks later. This happens a lot, so the reader does need to pay close attention. 
I did not get much of a feel for any of the characters. The reader is supposed to feel for Christine, because of her past, I suppose, but her self-destructiveness gets in the way of her being a truly sympathetic character. 
And don’t get me started on Jessica and Richard. The less said about them, the better. 
As I mentioned at the beginning, Laura Eliott has a good story in After the Wedding. You just need to understand what you are getting into. But trust me, you will still enjoy it
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You know something is wrong. Christine has everything that she needs a loving husband Richard and a successful advertising company. But someone wants to take that all away. Christine knows that there is something about their new employee Jessica that just gets her back up. Lately Christine has been thinking about her past as the nightmares are back but no one believes her memories but she knows that something awful happened.
How does she save her marriage now that the company is gone she knew that Jessica was going to be trouble she just didn't realise how much. She can feel Richard pulling away and she knows that given time he will turn to Jessica if he hasn't already.
The more Christine finds out about her near drowning as a child the clearer things become but she has found out things about Jessica's father and he won't want anyone finding out about his past.
How far would Samuel go protect his secrets? Will he decide that Christine needs to disappear for good?
What happens next will change everyone's life but it will also set them free from the cages that they were kept in.
A good solid read gripping stuff. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Firstly, the prologue pulled me right in.. When Christine Lewis was a little girl, she witnessed something terrible at a wedding and buried it so deep in her memory, she managed to forget it ever happened. In what we see it seems she almost drowned but she remember roses the color of blood. It's all very vague.

We then fast forward like 20+ years later. Christine is married and runs an advertising agency with her husband. She seems incredibly bothered by Jessica, a new woman at her job. This is where it lost me a little because too much of the book was Christine whining about Jessica. It all comes together though.

There are multiple POVs in this book, Jessica being one. She was a baby when she and her father came to live in an isolated cottage on the Irish island of Cullain with Margaret. She was the woman who loved Jessica as if she was her own. Until the day Jessica and her father left, and she never saw Margaret again.

These two women uncover the dark secrets of their traumatic pasts. One of my issues with this book is it being marketed as a psychological thriller. It's more just a suspense/mystery read. The first half of the book felt pretty slow to me. There were a lot of pieces that had to fall into place. The last half held my attention better. I appreciate the details in the story though some of them got muddy. I feel like it could have been scaled down but I still really enjoyed it. Definitely recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author Laura Elliot, and the publisher Bookouture for the ARC!
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Christine Lewis runs an advertising agency with her husband. When she was five years old she was a flower girl at her Aunt Sharon's wedding. Christine witnessed something horrifying there but can't remember what it was. Jessica Newman was a baby when her father arrived to live on the island of Cullain, Ireland along with Margaret, but they left not long after. Jessica is a new employee at the agency and Christine senses there's something off about her. Through hypnotherapy, Christine's memories start returning...

After the Wedding is a riveting family drama with discoveries, twists and revelations. Laura Elliot has delivered an unrestrained story of drama and emotion in this suspenseful concoction of secrets, trauma and concealment. The writing was compelling and tense and I revelled in the story all the way through as the pace slowly gained momentum for a satisfying finale. It brought no disappointments and I would love to read more from this gifted storyteller. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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“She saw something terrible that day…Now, it’s about to destroy her…”

It’s amazing how the human mind can manage to protect itself by burying traumatic memories so deeply that we have no conscious awareness of them. But for our protagonist Christine, it made me wonder, is it protection when one’s deeply buried memories take the form of reality where suddenly what was protecting her before, may now pose a very real threat? Or would she have been better off remembering what had happened because forewarned is forearmed?

With an intriguing plot that piqued my curiosity, I was looking forward to diving in and getting swept up into the drama of this tale. I found it did move on the slightly slower side to start with as the foundation is laid, but it does ramp up making for a more thrilling second half. The characters are a mix bag of likeable and unlikable and play out their roles well.

The story is broken down into four parts, multiple points of view and timelines. Whilst this can be a risky move as it can make it hard to follow along, in this case, it gives the reader a good backstory and helps to shapes the story in the present really well. Overall After the Wedding is a solid, suspenseful and twisty read.

Thank you to Laura Elliot, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of After the Wedding, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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I couldn’t put this book down!!! I read it in two days!  Christine Lewis is happily married. She had a scary event as a child but seems to have moved on.   She works with her husband running a successful ad agency.  Things are going well until Jessica comes to work for the company. Laura Elliot does an amazing job weaving all of the characters together.  
I enjoyed the build up and suspected who was behind everything early on. However, that did not take away my enjoyment of the book.  I liked how the story played out and I stayed up late reading it.  
I would like to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for a complimentary copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. #AfterTheWedding   #BookOuture #NetGalley
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An intriguing psychological thriller with so many twists you'll wonder which direction you're going in!  It's an interesting premise and the author deftly ties it all together.  Good read!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!
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Thank you Netgalley and Bookoture for sending me this e-ARC in return for an honest review!

I really wanted to love this book. It had so much potential, an interesting premise, and it felt like things were happening but it also came off as so underwhelming. It almost felt like the author tried to include a bunch of different elements to make the plot more enticing, but it was overdone, unfortunately. 

The first thing that really put me off was in the first few chapters when the characters were doing one thing, and on the next page they were suddenly doing something different. I had to go back and forth between the pages to make sure I wasn’t missing something because it was so abrupt. That really threw me off and impacted my experience. 

The overall plot also felt really dragged, which made it so hard to be drawn into the story. It took so long to actually get to the part where Christine is somehow connected to Jessica, yet we get all these chapters beforehand where she keeps going on about how much Jessica bothers her.  This part made it feel a lot more like a dramatic encounter than a thriller. I was very compelled to skip passages and skim to get to the point. 

I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy this book, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. It was unnecessarily prolonged and had too many elements forced together.
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The description of After the Wedding really drew me in and I was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately the story just did not grab me. I thought it would be a psychological thriller but it was actually something very different and it just did not work for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC.
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After the Wedding is told in 4 parts and follows Christine and Jessica.
The prologue was promising and it pulled me right in ~ Christine was a flower girl at her Aunt Sharon's wedding when she was 5. There was an accident that she had trouble remembering until several years later as an adult. Soon enough though, it was a bit slow going for me until somewhere in part 2, closer to the end, maybe even part 3. It had it's up and downs with keeping me engaged throughout.

Christine and Richard Stone met on a train, fell in love and opened up one of the most successful advertising agencies in Dublin ~ Foundation Stone. They hire Jessica to be their copywriter. While Jessica is perfect for the job, Christine can’t help but feel like something is off with her. When a rumor is started on social media that Foundation Stone is having problems and is up for sale, they all scramble to stomp the rumors and avoid losing clients. Jessica just happens to have a powerful father that can help them turn their business around.

Part 2 starts off very intriguing with a teaser about Jessica. We dive more into her early life and learn lots of things about her and her father, Samuel.
The pace picked up in parts 3 & 4, but I really didn't care for Christine too much, or Jessica, or really anyone for that matter. Actually, Stella, I did like her, and maybe Ryan too, but that's all.
Overall, this was an okay read and I was pleased with the ending.

*Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and Laura Elliot for the ARC. I am voluntarily leaving my honest review*
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I wanted to love this but sadly it just never lived up to the tense thriller vibe I was seeking. I found the writing a little too “tell and now show” at some points. I did however enjoy the overall plot.
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Rating this book 3/5 stars

The title and description of this book are what drew me in because I am a sucker for psychological thrillers. I was disappointed to find out it really isn’t much of one. It was just okay. I struggled to finish and not DNF it, which I probably would have done if I had picked it up for fun and didn't commit to an earnest read and an honest review. Even if it didn’t hit the mark for me, it is well written enough for others to potentially enjoy. I see a lot of folks here are fans of the author, even if I’ve never heard of her. I am glad to see this book will be placed on Kindle Unlimited for its best chance to be successful. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Bookoutre for the opportunity to read and review in advance of release 3/24/22!
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Christine Lewis witnessed something so terrifying when she was a little girl that she repressed the memory. Many years later she hires a new copywriter and something is triggered in Christine. This was messy and pretty  unbelievable, but I was invested. Look for this Mar 24/22. Thanks to NetGalley and @bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Laura Elliot's After the Wedding is the story of Christine Lewis Stone. Christine and her husband own an ad agency, and everything appears to be going fine until she remembers secrets from her past, and she feels she must find out what happened. A past that has remained buried until Jessica, a new employee of the ad agency, and Christine realize that their secret past is connected. This well-written, suspenseful book will have you guessing until the end.
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This really wasn't what I was expecting and had it been a bit more accurately advertised then I probably would have skipped it..... but here we are never the less. Its not my kind of book and was just too unbelievable for me to really be able to lose myself in Christine's world. It is really twisty and turny so I'm sure a lot of mystery/ crime fans will enjoy it but it just wasn't for me. Its certainly multi layered and complex. I liked that it was split into the 4 sections and it did keep me interested,  purely to see where it was all going on and what actually was the point but I'm glad I did stick with it, even if its not my normal genre
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Going in I thought  this would be a family thriller but this was more of a mob thriller, which I really have zero to no interest in. 

Others may love this but it wasn’t for me
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★★★ 3.5 stars (rounded down)

Having read two books by this author previously and thoroughly enjoying them, I was geared up for another intriguing and addictive read. But AFTER THE WEDDING is far different from what I expected. It's marketed as a psychological thriller though I think that is a little misleading. Although it certainly does have aspects of a thriller, the first part of the story is anything but. In fact, I grew so impatient by Christine's outbursts and jealousies as well as Jessica's blatant behaviour I was tempted to toss the book down. Where was the thriller aspect, I wondered? Then little by little, we are given glimpses of it as Christine's repressed memories of her past trauma begin to resurface in a haze of wine, vodka and hypnosis. Is it any wonder Richard failed to believe her?

The premise was also misleading in the sense that readers expected the aftermath of Christine's apparent trauma after the wedding (hence the title) that we actually thought that was what we were getting. Apart from the snippet in the Prologue introducing us to the events after the wedding and Christine's subsequent rescue from the river, the story then launches into the life and times of Christine thirty years later married to Richard Stone and co-running their advertising agency, Foundation Stone. I was drowning in the ins and outs of advertising as well as Christine's obvious yet inexplicable discomfort surrounding their new copywriter, Jessica Newman. The woman made her uncomfortable, fearful and made her skin crawl. But why, was anyone's guess. Almost half the book lead us through Christine's erratic thoughts and memories and down the rabbit hole of hypnosis where she uncovered the repressed memory that preceded her being pulled from the river when she was five years old "after the wedding". What then follows is her behaviour which is equally erratic thus creating the divide between herself and Richard, who fails to believe her rants and accusations.

When Christine was five years old she was flower girl at her aunt's wedding at the historically listed Castle Rillingham in Rillingham-on-the-weir in Dorset. As the only child in attendance, she soon grew bored and looked for ways to amuse herself. She was drawn to the blood red roses blooming in the gardens and was gruffly chastised for crushing the heads of them, leading her to make her escape through a doorway and over a stile to the woods that lay beyond. After that, Christine has no memory of what happened beyond the pressure on her chest as she vomited up water after being pulled from the river. What happened to her? How did she end up in the river? It is these questions she seeks answers to through Elaine, a hypnotherapist her friend Amy recommended. But what she uncovers throws her world into even more turmoil in the wake of losing her business and her marriage.

Divided into four parts, the second part begins with Jessica's narrative through which we get her side to the part she played in the grand scheme of things. Jessica's memories are not all that they appear to be which leaves her questioning those roots. But not enough to believe Christine's rants, who is clearly drunken and delusional.

What is clear, by all accounts, is that Christine feels threatened by Jessica almost from the first moment she meets her though she has no idea why. But it's when she goes digging into the past that she discovers they have more in common than either woman would believe. But how is Christine's past and Jessica's presence linked? What connects them, if anything? Is what Christine remembers real or is she just paranoid?

What promised to be an intriguing dig into a traumatic past connecting them to the present, ended up being too long and a little erratic at times. It was difficult to remain interested when Christine went off tangent, it was little wonder Richard had such a hard time believing her. There were aspects to the tale that kept me reading but there was so much in between the beginning and the end that just felt too cumbersome and long-winded. I predicted all the reveals which weren't really twists anyway but rather just unfolded that way.

The most confusing aspect to this book is the alternate narratives, which I love but in this case leaves readers a little puzzled as to their perspectives when they switch from Christine to Jessica without any indication as to whose narrative we are reading. The book begins clearly from Christine's narrative in the first part, then by the time part two begins it is very obviously Jessica, as clearly stated. But then we move into Parts three and four and the perspectives continue to change without any clear direction as to who is narrating them. I had to keep going back to see who it was meant to be. For alternating viewpoints, each chapter should be clearly headlined as who is narrating it to save confusion. I'm used to alternating narratives, but even I found this a little baffling (and irritating) at times.

None of the characters were very likeable. I hated Jessica and I grew impatient with Christine and Richard was just a little too weak (?) and Samuel was just positively loathsome. Although I did like Ryan. Probably the only one I did like. But I doubt any of them will remain with me.

The ending was satisfactory but that was about it. It wasn't great or outstanding, but it was good enough. I didn't hate AFTER THE WEDDING but I didn't love it either. The book certainly had potential, and I know Laura Elliot can deliver exciting thrillers, but AFTER THE WEDDING just didn't meet my expectations.

Overall, this was on OK thriller but not a great one.

I would like to thank #LauraElliot, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #AfterTheWedding in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.
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I enjoyed the first three quarters of this story regarding the marriage of Christine and Richard, their advertising agency and the new employee who works at taking both the company and husband from Christine. Christines back story from when she was a little girl starts well but stretches past the believable levels when it intertwines with the present.
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This book delivered everything I love in a psychological thriller. It’s well written, the characters are believable and Christine, the main character is put through a whole spectrum of emotional turbulence as she gradually uncovers her past and the event that has haunted her for so many years. Interestingly, it turns out Jessica, who joins Christine and husband Richard’s company, also has a past which connects with Christine’s, although they have no idea about this.

There were many twists and turns and strong emotional situations which kept me burning the midnight oil to finish this book. Absolutely loved it. Thank You Net Galley and the publisher for the arc.
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