A Week Till The Wedding
by Linda Winstead Jones
(Harl. Spec. Ed #2207, $5.25, G) ISBN 978-0373-65689-9
***
Grandma Eunice Tasker has decided to meddle. Only one of her grandsons is married and she isn’t even sure she likes his wife. So she is determined to get another married and who better to start with the Jacob.

Jacob had a childhood sweetheart, but he lost her when he went rushing off to California. Now his job takes up all his time, unless that picture of him with a bimbo is any indication of the types of girls he is dating and what he might end up with as a wife. No, it is time to take things into hand and what better time than the Tasker family reunion weekend.

So Eunice starts faking some dementia and convinces everyone that she is going a little batty…guilt can be a wonderful thing. Jacob comes home for an extended vacation due to her health and she hooks him up with his old girlfriend, by acting as if she is convinced they are still together and going to get married during the reunion. Jacob falls for it hook, line and sinker so all he has to do is convince his old girlfriend Daisy Bell into the right frame of mind.

Daisy and Jacob were great friends and had become lovers in high school and college. They did think they might have a future. But then Daisy’s parents died suddenly leaving her with her two younger sisters. She quit college to come back to Bell Grove, Georgia. She became a beautician like her mother and kept the family business (a joint beauty parlor/small appliance repair shop) open and running while raising her two sisters so that they could finish first high school then college. Meanwhile, Jacob moved to San Francisco and while some promises were made, they just basically fizzled. Seven years later, they have not been in contact and yet, there is definitely unfinished business between them.

As one might imagine, Eunice’s plot does not go off completely as planned. Daisy is hesitant to start up with Jacob, knowing that he has a life in San Francisco and she has never left Bell Grove. Her sisters have but there is something about her life that is both satisfying and sad. She realizes that she has been in a holding pattern and maybe finally ending it with Jacob will help her move on. Jacob just wants to make his grandmother’s last days happy. He doesn’t know what he wants from Daisy at first, but quickly realizes that he has never stopped loving her and maybe now she will move with him.

While I liked the two of them together, neither was a strong character. They both seemed to have gone through their life in a fog and neither has really grown up. Jacob buried his life in his work and Daisy followed after her parents, having friends and relationships but not really being fulfilled. The ending is predictable even while it iss enjoyable. And while Eunice acted as if she had learned her lesson, her sights are now set on grandson, Caleb.

A Week Till the Wedding is a simple story and offers simple pleasure. It will entertain you for an afternoon if you are so inclined.

--Shirley Lyons


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