Friday, September 4, 2009

Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah

Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah

In the final installment of the 86 Bloomberg Place series, a crazed competition for bridesmaids, wedding locations, and showers takes center stage

The official word:
In a wild combination of Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, and Gilmore Girls—with all of the drama but none of the taboo—beloved author Melody Carlson offers readers her final installment in the 86 Bloomberg Place series, Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah (David C Cook, September 2009). Written in her well-known conversational, colloquial style, Carlson’s latest novel continues to follow four diverse young women, with varying levels of faith, differing interests, and unique personal issues, through the high dramas of their romantic lives.

The four-book 86 Bloomberg Place series offers an emotionally engaging look at the individual dilemmas of four unlikely female friends—Kendall, Lelani, Anna, and Megan—who share a small bungalow while launching their careers and maturing through difficult family situations and romantic relationships. Carlson’s unique ability to capture young women’s attitudes, voices, and heartfelt desires with meaningful storytelling keeps pace with the lives of her readers as she weaves varying perspectives and voices together with both humorous and poignant threads.

In Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah, Lelani has returned from Maui to Bloomberg Place with her toddler Emma and is trying to book her wedding date. Unfortunately, there are scheduling conflicts for that same weekend. For starters, Megan and Marcus have a family wedding commitment. Anna and Edmond have promised to attend his stepbrother’s Bar Mitzvah and, to everyone’s surprise, Kendall has just accepted her “Maui Man’s” proposal of marriage and also wants to be wed on that same weekend in June. Let the games begin!

To complicate matters, Lelani wants to keep her wedding simple, but Gil (the groom) has a Latina mama with other ideas. Meanwhile Kendall (the pregnant bride) wants to pull out all the stops on her wedding—and suddenly her absentee parents are on the scene. A crazed competition for bridesmaids, wedding locations, showers, attention, and a little peace and quiet takes over 86 Bloomberg Place. Yet at the same time, friendships are being forged that will last a lifetime.

With only two months to pull off both weddings (on the same day), the pressure is on, and the stress just might kill all promise of happily ever after. Are their friendships strong enough to weather the hassles and heartaches?

Tricia's Take:
Ok, so first off, true confessions: I’ve read a number of melody Carlson’s books and some I’ve liked, some not so much. I was excited, though, to read Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah as it is the fourth and final installment of Ms. Carlson’s 86 Bloomberg Place series and I enjoyed the other three books in the series.

Can I just tell you: this book made me cry. At the end, I was truly crying – not one little tear in the corner of my eye, but actual tears streaming down my face. This tells you two things: A) I am a sap, and B) I really got to know and care about Lelani, Megan, Kendall, and Anna: the girls of 86 Bloomberg Place.

 If you have the time and enjoy a book that doesn’t save the world but takes you away from it for a little bit, read this book. I am not going to tell you what happens because you need to discover for yourself. If you do read it, read the series in order as the author doesn’t waste your time rehashing in later novels the events of the earlier ones; it will help you have a better understanding of where these ladies come from.

If you have no time and are looking for the one awesome, life changing book you will read this year, this book isn’t it. But, despite some faults, I did enjoy it and it moved me in the end, so I am not regretful for taking a little time to spend with the girls of 86 Bloomberg Place as they find their way.

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