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Once Upon a Bride
by Jean Stone

Category: Fiction / General
294 pages; ISBN: 0553586858

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Once Upon a Bride
Jean Stone
Bantam, Feb 2005, $6.99, 294 pp.
ISBN: 0553586858

The four women are getting together because Elaine is marrying for the second time and wants her college pals (Jo, Sarah, and Lily) as her bridesmaids. The trio detests the wedding dress that might look great on a teen bride, but horrendous on a forty-three year old mom. As they continue to discuss the woeful selections for a mature second time bride, the quartet form a wedding planner partnership Second Chances to insure that older brides obtain a first class reception.

At the same time that the four women meet, Buzz magazine editor John Benson assigns writer turned Professor Arthur Kennedy to do a column called Real Women. Arthur reluctantly agrees only because his friend John needs his help to save the magazine.

As Second Chances gets off the ground, the intelligent Jo struggles to hide her hurt and embarrassment from the deception of her lover Brian, who cost her the upper crust Boston lifestyle she had grown accustomed to living. Arthur meets Jo and is immediately attracted to her. As they fall in love, Arthur realizes hiding his column from her could prove costly since male deceit haunts Jo.

ONCE UPON A BRIDE is a delightful middle age women’s fiction story that stars a fabulous cast that insist life is still exciting in your forties. The story line contains several subplots involving the four female friends, but mostly centers on Jo, a deep and hurting protagonist with trust troubles following her father’s desertion as a child and her lover’s betrayal as an adult. Jean Stone provides a wonderful contemporary tale starring mature characters looking to regain the magic.

Harriet Klausner


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