16131025Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Jenna Carmichael is getting married! Such a happy occasion that is only overshadowed by the fact that her mother passed away seven years prior and Jenna has to do all of the marriage planning without her mother by her side. Beth, Jenna’s mother, thought ahead and wrote down all of her thoughts and ideas for Jenna’s wedding. The Notebook is precious and dear to the whole family and Jenna has used it as a sort of Bible for her wedding at the family’s summer home on Nantucket.

Jenna’s older sister Margot is in a tough place in her life. She’s struggling with raising her children alone and supporting her ex-husband, taking care of wedding details for her sister, helping her dad deal with Pauline (his new wife), and maintain the secrecy of her own love affair with her dad’s law partner. The whole family seems to be coming down with a serious case of “crisis-it is” the weekend of the wedding. One of the bridesmaids has an affair with Jenna’s brother. Another bridesmaid, the daughter of their step-mom, is unusually nice and agreeable. Jenna’s dad decides that he is going to ask Pauline for a divorce. And then at the last minute, Jenna calls off the wedding! While everyone is falling apart, Margot is working to bring them back together so they can have a beautiful day that celebrates Jenna and Stuart’s love.

Beautiful Day was not at all what I expected. I figured the story would be more about love and romance, creating a beautiful day for the bride and groom and yet very little was even said about them! Written from a perspective of individual characters and what they are thinking and dealing with, Beautiful Day brings you into the mind of several characters, but not the bride and groom. It was just a really weird back-door approach of telling how to create this wedding day for someone in spite of the crazy drama going on in your life. The book should have been titled, All About Margot or something like that because it seemed very focused on the sister and not the bride. One thing I was happy to see was the overwhelming respect they all seemed to have for Beth’s wishes in the Notebook…it made it almost like Beth was a part of the special day.

The story-telling was good and Hilderbrand has a great way of pulling you into the characters, which is the only reason I gave it three stars. The writing itself was just good. But the story-line? Eh…not so much. It seemed to go on and on, and the story that took over 400 pages to tell could have been done in about 200.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Reagan Arthur Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.