Cancel the Wedding, a debut novel by Carolyn T. Dingman, isn’t a book I would have picked up to read without a bit of urging by someone I trusted. A fellow reader who knows I like mysteries recommended it a bit hesitantly, as she knows I am not a huge fan of a strictly romance novels, but assured me that though it had a bit of debut-novelness about it, the writing was good, the story was more than just romance, and the mystery was fun.
So, despite the novel’s title, I dug in. My assessment? I enjoyed the story but I was equally glad I had gotten the book from the library rather than paying hard-earned money for it.
That said, I recommend the book for fairly light reading.
The book’s protagonist Olivia has a powerful job that she hates, a handsome and smart fiancé with whom she is bored, and an interesting life in which she is largely disinterested. The only interesting part of her life is that her recently-deceased mother had left instructions in her will to her two daughters to return her ashes to the small town in Georgia where she grew up but never talked about to her daughters. Their mother specifically instructed that half of her ashes would be sprinkled in the lake and the other half onto a certain gravesite.
Both daughters put off the task until Olivia realizes how dissatisfied with her life and thinks perhaps a change of scenery would do her good. She and her niece Logan head off to Georgia and a change of pace.
Upon arrival, Olivia comes face to face with the knowledge that there was more to her mother’s life than anyone in her family knew. She takes it upon herself to try and solve the mystery.
The romantic element comes when she meets Elliott, who not only helps her discover the truth about her mother’s past, but actually personally finds the final link.
This is not a terribly meaningful novel that will change a reader’s life. But Dingman’s writing is solid and the story kept my interest, despite being fairly predictable. I do love books that take place in the south, and this fit the bill to a T.
I recommend it for someone looking for a light-hearted novel to distract them from their real-life difficulties.