Sophie Kinsella’s new novel, “Wedding Night” begs to be made into a movie. It has the scenic location of a Greek island. It has all the misunderstandings, miscommunications, and physical comedy of a classic bedroom farce. It has five attractive main characters who are consumed with various stages of lust – and love.
As the novel opens, Charlotte (Lottie) Graveney is fully expecting her long-term lover Richard to pop the question at a special lunch:
Of course the answer will be “yes.” A big, joyful “yes.” I can still hardly believe we’re arrived at this place. Marriage, I mean, marriage! In the three years Richard and I have been together, I’ve deliberately avoided the question of marriage, commitment, and all associated subjects (children, houses, sofas, herbs in pots). We sort of live together at his place, but I still have my own flat. We’re a couple, but at Christmas we go home to our own families. We’re in that place.
Richard’s proposal does not involve a lifetime commitment: it is a proposal about using frequent flier miles. Lottie’s dream wedding is off – and the relationship is over.
But before Lottie can make one of the “Unfortunate Choices” that often follow her break-ups, she hears from Ben – her first big love, who she’d met during her gap year on postcard-perfect Ikonos, Greece – who reminds her that they had made a pact to get married if they both found themselves single at thirty. While he’s a couple of years behind schedule, Lottie eagerly marries him, finding him just as attractive as ever. Her only caveat: that they defer their pleasure and not have sex until their wedding night.
Lottie’s sister Fliss is appalled. Ditto Lorcan, Ben’s best friend and colleague. Fliss, who is in the throes of an ugly divorce, and newly divorced Lorcan conspire to prevent the marriage – and hook up. When their efforts fail, Fliss, a travel magazine editor, calls in favors with Nico, the manager of the luxury hotel on the island of Ikonos where the newlyweds have booked their honeymoon, in an effort to sabotage their greatly anticipated wedding night.
“They’re booked into the Oyster Suite. And I don’t mind what they do, as long as they don’t have sex. With each other,” I add as an afterthought.
There’s a long silence, then Nico says simply.
“This will be a very strange honeymoon.”
What ensues is quite funny, as Lottie and Ben are thwarted at every attempt to consummate their marriage.
Eventually, Fliss, Lorcan, and Richard, who has belatedly realized that Lottie is the one, all converge on Ikonos, just as Lottie is beginning to suspect that she has married Ben for all the wrong reasons.
“Wedding Night” is vintage Kinsella: light, frothy and fun. It’s not great literature by any stretch of the imagination, but it is good escapism. And, it will make a terrific chick flick.
“Wedding Night” is available at amazon.com and at your favorite New York bookstores.