Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Review of A Wedding Invitation (CFBA Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Wedding Invitation
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Alice Wisler


Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.


After returning home from teaching English at a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique in Falls Church, Virginia. When she receives an invitation to a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she looks forward to reconnecting with her college friend. Instead her life collides with Carson, a fellow teacher and the man who broke her heart, and a young Amerasian refugee named Lien who needs Samantha and Carson's help to find her mother before Lien's own wedding. When the search for Lien's mother reveals surprising secrets from the past, Samantha must reevaluate her own memories and decide whether to continue to play it safe or take a risk that could change her life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Wedding Invitation, go HERE.

My Rating: Summer

My Review:

One word that describes Wisler's work is authentic. That's not to say there aren't traditional elements of fiction in her books, but rather that her characters and their emotions/thoughts are real, broken, and beautiful.

Rain Song was the first book I read by Wisler, and I found it to be a story with a rainy-day atmosphere all its own that left a dear impression on my heart. While I also enjoyed Hatteras Girl, it didn't impact me in the same way. And then came A Wedding Invitation.

Despite the fact that A Wedding Invitation is difficult to compare to Rain Song because of their different plots, I must say that A Wedding Invitation moved me and blessed me with a heroine who reminded me so very much of myself. I'd be hard pressed to say which book I like better, so let's just say that I love both of them very much!!

The situations, settings, and surprises in A Wedding Invitation are so unique and engaging. Wisler writes in a first-person-present style that flows softly through the pages, including sweet but vivid imagery mixed in with all of the emotions. From the mother's clothing shop in Washington D.C. to Dovie with her monarch butterflies and loveable boarders, and even the flashbacks to the heroine's time in the Philippines, this book is a treat to read. So many lines deserve to be savored and remembered.

And that heroine! Her story really resonates with me. This book with its inspiring themes and gentle embrace is one to cherish and keep on the shelf to revisit and ponder again and again.

*With thanks to Bethany House through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

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