cover image A Bad Bride’s Tale

A Bad Bride’s Tale

Polly Williams, . . Hyperion, $23.95 (341pp) ISBN 978-1-4013-0232-0

Williams’s infectious romp shows what happens just before a woman surrenders to respectable adulthood—nerve-jangling regret set to the tune of a loudly ticking biological clock. Magazine designer Stevie, 34, is poised to marry boyish and vulnerable Jez. Stevie is both excited and worried she’s making the wrong choice when Sam, a photographer she’s had a thing for since art school, shows up. But she gets hitched anyway and spends a hilariously horrid honeymoon in Thailand trying to ignore her incompatibility with Jez and avoiding London hipsters Seb and Katy—particularly Katy, who has a history with Stevie and, suddenly, the full attention of Jez. Every couple in the book seems mismatched, and as Sam lingers and serial-dating pal Lara turns a couple of heads, marriage-shaking trouble is in the offing. Williams (Yummy Mummy ) fills the book with sharp lines and sharper summations of her characters’ ever-changing states of affairs. The novel packs a lot of laughs and delivers a snazzy payoff in the last chapter. Take this one to the beach. (June)