REVIEW: On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
Dear Mrs Quinn,
Thanks for a fine ending for your Bridgerton series. Or is it? Could you be headed in the direction of Victoriana with all the Bridgerton offspring? Only time will tell.
I’ve always appreciated the way you manage to keep a specific Bridgerton’s personality more or less the same throughout any books featuring that character. Sure, they grow up but I’ve not seen the type of 180 degree personality transplants that readers are sometimes given when a secondary character gets his or her own book. Gregory, the seventh child and fourth Bridgerton son, has always been easy going, fun to be with and happy to tease his younger sister, Hyacinth. If you had suddenly loaded him down with a baggage train of angst and hidden torment, I’d have been pissed. I also like the way that you don’t feel the need to drag each and every past happy couple onto center stage to show how deliriously happy and fertile they are. A brief two to three line update does me just fine.
Call me weird but I love how average all these couples are. No one is the most beautiful, handsome, smartest, funniest, bestest man or woman in Regency England. They’re nice, decent, kind and caring people. Sometimes their families can drive them nuts in a good-natured way (OK, maybe not Gareth St. Clair or Sophia Beckett), but with only a few exceptions you’ve written about grounded, realistic people. Well, maybe Hyacinth’s nocturnal wanderings veered towards the silly but at least nobody was a secret spy or worked for the Foreign Office. Lucy Abernathy is a great addition to the Bridgerton daughters-in-law. I never had to roll my eyes at any pants wearing, astride horseback riding or shocking just be to shocking scenes.
The way you introduced Lucy and Gregory was inventive. And having Lucy coaching Gregory on how to court another woman, with whom he’d thought he’d immediately fallen in love, set up his realization of what true love is very nicely. Where I got a bit impatient was in the “witty dialogue” exchanges. A number of them went on too long and neither advanced the plot nor shed any new light on the characters. I also agree with the AAR reviewer who was disappointed in the way you twisted a happy ever after for Gregory and Lucy out of an improbable sequence of events. Readers just have to be willing to go along with something that I don’t think would have ever happened. I was also a bit dismayed that Lucy mentioned helping find a woman to take her place in a lifetime situation that she had faced with unhappiness. And the epilogue. Or should I call it the 1st Epilogue? Really.
Overall, this isn’t the best Bridgerton novel for me but I’ll still give it a B.