Amanda's Wedding

Jenny Colgan, Author Grand Central Publishing $36 (288p) ISBN 978-0-446-52647-0
Planted firmly in Bridget Jones territory, Colgan's first novel takes off with the kind of manic energy and sharply vulgar humor that only a Brit-sitcom can, before settling down into the typical fare that comprises contemporary girl-fic. Londoners Mel and Fran, both 20-something, are horrified to learn that the third member of their childhood trio, Amanda--an uppity, shallow brat who's burned them one too many times--has landed Fraser McConald, a Scottish lord, as her fianc . Compounding their annoyance is the fact that back in their university days, Mel, who serves as narrator, had a huge crush on Fraser. Mel is also reeling because her loutish, aspiring rock-star beau, Alex, who left her 10 months ago to find himself in America, has returned to her doorstep in full force. Further complicating matters is Nicholas, a clueless, eight feet tall accountant whose advances she sometimes succumbs to when very drunk. Fraser's charming brother, Angus, rightly suspects that Amanda only wants Fraser for the Town & Country cachet of his crumbling castle, and he enlists the aid of Mel and Fran to sabotage the nuptials. In any romantic comedy, it's a given that the lead heroine will get a man; the question here is which man? With several possibilities, readers may be surprised at the outcome; some may be disappointed. The writing is clever enough, and Mel and Fran's antics are entertaining, even if their self-involvement tips over into cruelty at times. But for those who expect more substance, even in a comedy, the only momentous theme available--that it's preferable, if at all possible, to marry for love rather than convenience--is hardly weighty. (Feb. 1)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
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