Saturday, 5 September 2009

Book review - The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff

When Pell runs away, she leaves the life she’s known, her family, and her brand new wedding dress. She takes her horse and young, mute brother. She doesn’t know where she’s going, but she wants to escape a life of hard work and drudgery. On the way, she meets people connected to her past as well as to her new future. Through it all, she reacts with resilience and determination to the struggles thrown in her path. Will she find what she seeks, or forever wander, searching for all that she has lost?

The Bride’s Farewell a surprisingly short, though entertaining, read. Meg Rosoff is an author who can make her readers completely believe in the surroundings that she creates. There’s an interesting cast of characters, though I will say that the coincidences linking the characters together are at times unbelievable. There’s a slightly old-fashioned charm about the story that makes it so believable as a historical novel.

In some ways the plot is just too chancy. Various people are lost and found throughout the story, despite the fact that England is a big place. The chances of finding one another were rather slim. However, it was also entertaining and with a small suspension of disbelief comes an original, though somewhat predictable, story that’s worth reading.

Pell was a good heroine, hardworking and determined. Not only did I want her to have a happy ending, but I also felt that she’d worked hard enough to deserve one, a rare thing in many books now. Her relationship with the hunter was compelling and unusual. I wanted to know much more about him, but the fact that you know so little is one of the defining factors in their curious relationship. I suppose if too much page time had been spent on them alone, the book would have become far more of a love story than anything else. As it is, the romance is enough to flavour the book but not too much that it takes over. My biggest complaint with the book is the fact that Pell grew up with Birdie as her best friend, never discouraging him. I find it hard to believe she’d then just run away as she would have known how badly it would affect him.

I enjoyed this and would recommend it, though it was a quick read. It’s being published as a hardback this September and my advice would be to wait for the paperback as it’s just not long enough to justify hardback prices in my opinion. It is a beautifully written book nevertheless.


  1. Great review! The cover is cute of that book :)

  2. Fascinating review. It's interesting that you call the plot 'chancy', as I think that could be a Meg Rosoff theme? I'm not sure - I haven't read this book, but I've read Just in Case and I wondered if chance/fate/coincidence etc is something Meg Rosoff focuses on in all her books?
    Thanks for the thought-provoking review!

  3. I love the cover too! My copy was an ARC so I was really happy to learn the cover for the hardback would be the same!
    Luisa, this was my first Meg Rosoff, but from what I've read, chancy must definitely be a theme of hers!