Cover Image: After the Wedding

After the Wedding

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Member Reviews

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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A complete page tuner! I couldn't put it down. Full of twists, and I enjoyed every page. I will be reading any future publications from Laura Elliot and recommending this title to friends.
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After the Wedding had a very exciting premise but didn't quite live up to the billing for me. It was engaging enough that I wanted to see how it worked out in the end, so I did keep reading. I was curious to find out what Christina's disappearance briefly as a child would have to do with the rest of the story. Ultimately, I found the story line too convoluted to be believable for me. I also found it hard to warm to any of the characters.

I am sure there is an audience who will disagree and find the story totally absorbing, There is a lot going on and some may enjoy the very twisty solution.

Thank you to the author, Bookouture, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
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A bit of a let down to be honest....

The synopsis of this story would lead one to believe this would be a family thriller but this was more of a mob thriller, which I really have zero to no interest in. 

This was a business thriller on top of the organized crime element.. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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In this novel by Laura Elliot, two women’s lives cross while working together at an advertising agency. Both have secrets in their pasts and it turns out their lives may be linked in more ways than one. 
This story was dark, suspenseful, and heartbreaking all at once. It had me hooked and I felt heartbroken for Christine at so many points through the book. However, even though Christine has been through so much in her life, I loved that she was strong and determined.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this ebook ahead of publication in exchange for my honest review.
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Unfortunately I didn't finish this book as I found the story hard to get in to and a little boring. Having said that I normally like this author and will continue to read her books.
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The blurb of this book sounded so go and I was very excited to read it.

The first half of the book, however, was very slow for me and at times I lost interest, had to put it down and come back later.

Christine and Richard are married and own an advertising agency.  Jessica is a new employee and Christine just gets a bad feeling from her.  Richard shrugs it off.  Christine begins to feel threatened by Jessica, and those feelings may be justified, although Richard still doesn't feel it.  They hit hard times and the way things resolve are odd and only make Christine more stressed.

Add to all this, at the age of 5, Christine was a flower girl in a wedding, wandered away on the grounds and nearly drowned.  It was always believed she just fell in the water, but through some hypnotherapy, memories start returning.  Are these memories somehow connected to her bad feelings about Jessica and her father?

The second half picked picked up the pace, and I enjoyed it much more.  But I felt the book dragged on longer than it needed to.  That being said, I would give this author another try!

Many thanks you to NetGalley & Bookouture for an ARC!
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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.

I would like to thank Netgalley,  Laura Elliot and Bookouture for an ARC of After the Wedding in exchange for an honest review.
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This book starts out with a little girl being pulled from a river. Then it moves on to the present day. Christine and Richard met by chance, married and started their own company.
Along comes Jessica who is applying for a job at their firm. Christine feels something is strange with Jessica but cannot figure out what. 
The book goes between present day and Christine's memories (and lack of memories) of the past.
I liked Christine and felt how difficult it must have been for her to have had something happen in her past that has affected her life ever since, without her truly understanding it. I understood her need to know what really had happened that day so long ago. Some of the other characters I disliked as immensely as I was supposed to. 
Overall a good book. I would read more books by this author.

Thanks to netgalley and Bookouture for the arc.
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I had high hopes for this book after reading the synopsis but personally I did not feel the story lived up to it.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was boring,  I did finish it, but it didn’t have the pull to make me pick it up once I had put it down.  However saying that it does exactly what a book should do and keep me entertained while I was reading it and it was an enjoyable enough read to pass  the time.
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Loved It. This book has me completely hooked from the very first page to the very last one. I absolutely loved it. It was gripping, thrilling and edge of your seat drama. A great physiological thriller.
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I usually love this author's books but this one left a lot to be desired. It started off great and really grabbed my attention. Then it lost the plot in my opinion. I didn't like any of the characters. The deal with Richard was expected and disappointing. I liked Christine more in the middle of the book and started rooting for her. Then it took a turn towards the end and left me frustrated. I didn't feel like anyone got what they deserved. It was just too convoluted.
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What a brilliant thriller! Really drew me in from page one, and did not let go to the final chapter.

Brilliant plot and believable characters. 5 stars.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book.

Unfortunately I DNF'd this book around 16%. It read like another domestic thriller with "rich white people" problems. A jealous wife, a successful husband, a rich and complicated ingenue "assistant" with an even richer and more complicated family, etc. I don't think there was enough character development to make me care about the characters, no matter what was going on.
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Saying that "After the Wedding" is a psichologycal thriller is a mislead to what really is this book about. At first, it was kind of hard for me to pick up the pace: the first half of the book was hard, but then, the second half paced up quickly. I honestly thought this was more of a family drama, but it turned out to be organised crime, which was okay, but it wasn't for me. Some characters were flat, one dimensional and didn't feel like they had something to do here, but okay.

Review on my blog will be posted soon!
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This is the kind of book that makes me wish I didn't have a job (so I could stay home and read it cover-to-cover in one sitting)! The story gripped me from the first chapter, a flashback to Christine Lewis's childhood when she wandered away from her aunt's wedding and ended up almost drowning in a nearby river. Christine can't remember how she ended up in the water, or the events immediately before. Thirty years later, married and successful, Christine still has nightmares about that day. Her feelings of dread and foreboding worsen after she and her husband hire Jessica Newman to work at their advertising agency, and Christine turns to hypnotherapy in an effort to come to grips with her past, not realizing that it is tied to Jessica and threatening her future. Christine  is intelligent and strong, and her choices and actions are appropriately smart. This is more of a suspense novel than psychological thriller. The story unfolds slowly but is well plotted & well written with interesting characters.
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