The Bridesmaid

The BridesmaidThe Bridesmaid by Nina Manning
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"The Bridesmaid: The addictive psychological thriller that everyone is talking about"

Urm; ok, if they say so. I'll grant whoever wrote this tagline sway with the 'addictive' part because it is, but not in the way I was expecting it to be. I thought I'd want to keep reading because of how good it is and because it was going to have me on the edge-of-my-seat; a 'psychological thriller' to me is something which gets my adrenalin flowing and my heart pumping. I want to turn the page in nervous anticipation. Sadly this was not the book to do that with.

Yes, I did keep reading and turning the pages with hopeful expectation that it was going to get better, that finally something thriller-like or psychological was going to get my juices flowing yet the next page was just more of the same. I only read to the very end to see if there was a massive twist and prove that my theory about who was whom and what had happened to bring about such a dysfunctional family, yet the twist never came -and Caitlin's really are dysfunctional: a mother who shows no love, a father who spends all his days in the office, younger brothers who are always with the Nanny; the only person to show Caitlin any kind of attention is her maternal grandmother, who in turn has a very twisted relationship with her own daughter, Ava (Caitlin's mother)).

Having worked out what was going on before I'd got halfway through I found myself very disappointed at the end, and annoyed with myself that I bothered to keep reading.

If there is a competition for the amount of times anyone can get the name 'Caitlin' onto a page then this author will absolutely trounce all other competitors and by the 12th time of reading the name - still only on one page - I found myself get more-and-more annoyed each time I saw it. I hate it when authors assume their readers are idiots and can't figure out who is talking when there are only 2 characters in that actual paragraph, or chapter. As the book was written in the first person as well there was absolutely no need to keep saying her name. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be dreaming about Caitlin (and Chuck get's a lot of mentions too) for a long while to come.

I guess the manipulation that Caitlin (I'm trying to beat her record here) used to keep Sasha under her spell for so long can full under the psychological umbrella, for Caitlin (how am I doing in annoying you with amount of times I'm saying her name? :o) ) for she is most definitely a narcissist of the highest order and I know how hard it can before for someone to pull themselves out from under the spell of such a person; they are very clever at making it always seem to be the fault of the other person, and Caitlin does this brilliantly, to the point I wanted to get hold of Sasha and tell her to "Walk away, NOW" but I guess the book wouldn't have been able to continue without them still being in each other's live as adults, and the title wouldn't work had she not been chosen as Caitlin's bridesmaid.

The addition of a character called 'Bill' was totally random and he really plays no part in the story at all and I'm amazed the authors editor didn't tell her to cut him out entirely. Also the proof reader was a little lax as there are a few times when one of Caitlin's twin brothers, Abel, is spelled Able.

On the positive side the author does move seamlessly from 1988 to the present day, and back again in a manner that the reader can never be in any doubt which year they are currently reading about; that's not an easy thing to do so Kudos to Nina Manning for working that so well. Her characters are also extremely believable and you don't need to use your imagination to get an idea of how they look, or their behaviour mannerisms. It's just a shame the story as-a-whole lets them down for I think this could have had real potential

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