Saturday, 5 January 2019

A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby - Can you wait until next Christmas to read it?

You may not want to wait until next December to read the final book* about the Benson family, A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby.  Having read all the others, I could not resist finding out all about Chelsea and Adam's wedding.
Chelsea and Adam's romance has featured in all four of the books, starting with A Proper Family Holiday when they meet on the plane to Lanzarote where she's going to join her family, and Adam's daughter, Lily, wants to sit in Chelsea's window seat.
Chelsea has two sisters who are at loggerheads because Ronnie is jealous of Annabel's luxurious upbringing because she was adopted at birth, and feels that she is going to take over Chelsea's wedding plans.
Their mother, Jacqui, tries to keep the peace whilst still trying to build her relationship with Annabel who she hasn't seen for forty-three years, and also get over her own insecurities at meeting, Sarah, the woman who brought Annabel up and whom she calls Mum.
Chelsea also has similar problems getting to know Frances, the mother of Adam's first wife, Claire, who died three years ago. Nothing she can say or do will please her.
The regular members of the Benson family are all here too: Jacqui and Ronnie's long-suffering husbands Dave and Mark, who get to know Frances's husband, Richard; Sophie and Izzy, newly found cousins when Ronnie and Annabel met; seven-year-old Jack and Lily, great rivals in Lanzarote, but now the best of friends, and Granddad Bill.
He's a great character, eighty-seven-years old, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, but this does not stop him singing songs punctuated with burps and worse, and supporting his beloved Coventry City. However, his dementia is getting more serious causing him to get confused as to whether he's in the present or in the Second World War when his brother, Eddie, was killed, and his panic attacks are getting more frequent and frightening. Jacqui and Dave fear that he may not make it to next September when the wedding is planned, and ask Chelsea and Adam to move it forwards to Christmas which they willingly do, having no idea just how complicated their wedding arrangements will be.
I really enjoyed this book because Chrissie Manby is excellent at exploring these relationships and making them so real that I feel I really know and love this family. I wish that one day she would write some more about them!

If you want to know more about the Bensons, here are some links to my reviews:

A Proper Family Holiday

A Proper Family Adventure

A Proper Family Christmas

* I've just discovered an e-novella about them too! Falling Leaves and Fireworks!

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