Three Weddings and a Proposal by Sheila O’ Flanagan is published with Headline Review and is described as ‘a gripping and empowering new novel from the author of the No. 1 bestsellers THE WOMEN WHO RAN AWAY, HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE and THE MISSING WIFE’. Sheila O’ Flanagan is a much-loved author of many, with Marian Keyes saying that Sheila O’ Flanagan is one of her favourite authors and Beth O’ Leary stating that ‘reading a Sheila O’Flanagan novel always feels like sitting down for a cup of tea with a friend – she writes with such warmth and empathy’.
Three Weddings and a Proposal centres around the life and tribulations of Delphine (Delphie) Mertens. Delphie is a strong independent woman in her thirties. She has worked very hard and now has a stable job and her own home. Delphie is content. She values her time on her own and is particular in her ways and, although her family would hope for some of her choices to be different, Delphie likes living alone.
With her brother’s wedding fast approaching Delphie realises that all her usual plus-ones are no longer available but a chance encounter with an old flame suddenly solves her problem. Delphie has no issue going alone but the relentless questions from family and friends would be best avoided if she were to have any breathing space on the day.
Delphie loves her job, working for the very successful multimillionaire businessman Conrad Morgan. With a potential promotion on the cards Delphie is filled with pride for her achievements but a shocking phone call at the wedding changes everything. Now faced with some very stressful choices, Delphie has to rethink her path in life and the direction she was taking. Delphie relies very much on her two friends Sheedy and Erin to support her through a series of crises that send her world spinning out of control.
Weddings obviously feature strongly in this book but this is not just a story about weddings. Three Weddings and a Proposal is a book about finding one’s own path in life and about not being afraid to stand up and be counted. Having the confidence to be yourself and not suffering from imposter syndrome is a strong theme throughout. Just because society has expectations of you does not mean that you have to live by them. I really enjoyed Delphie Mertens as a central character. She falls down but she is unwilling to be ground down and, with the right support and motivation, she regroups and continues down a path that she chooses herself.
Three Weddings and a Proposal feels like a very personal book from Sheila O’ Flanagan. Misogyny is unfortunately still rife in many workplaces and needs to be stamped out. Equal pay, irrespective of gender, should be a given right and not a hopeful request. A woman choosing a career over a marriage or a woman choosing both or neither should not be put to a floor and discussed, it should just be accepted. Ultimately it is all about choice and that is a prerogative of every woman.
Empowerment is a very strong theme throughout and with the addition of sultry romances, family dynamics, society women, scandal and a couple of best buds, Three Weddings and a Proposal wraps up into a very entertaining and charming read. Pure escapism, it really is the perfect summer read (or anytime really!)
(c) Swirl and Thread
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