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.
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.
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*
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
★★★ 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/.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.