THE WEDDING WRITER by Susan Schneider

 THE WEDDING WRITER by Susan Schneider

Chick lit? With a cover like that? You bet. Light and fluffy but not necessarily frothy. The dark side behind all those gorgeous and lavish bridal magazines - the ladder climbing, the back stabbing, the pressure for perfection - no magazine subject matter would appear to be immune.

The bridal magazine is 'Your Wedding'. Grace is the editor, probably modeled on Anna Wintour or Amanda Priestly, has been at the helm of the magazine for many years. Not old - 56, but perceived as being past it by the men who run the show, she is brutally replaced by Lucky (annoying name), who is young, ambitious, talented and far too skinny. From the start she charges through with the changes she wants to make, in the process alienating the other staff. There are two other women who have been on the magazine for a long time - Sara, early 40s, looking for love, and Felice, similar age, married with a teenage son going through his own teenage dramas. The magazine, the changes taking place and the impact these have on the lives of these four women are the core of the book. But we also learn quite a lot about the back stories of each of these women. As well as a fair bit about the nasty world of magazine publishing.

It's hardly literary fiction, but it is not so bad as to not be an enjoyable read.  There is quite good commentary on the ageing process while working in the beauty industry which is essentially what bridal magazines are, being single/married/a mother/ working in such a ruthless industry. And how we define our own personal image when we are surrounded by fantasy images which of course is what us average mortals face every day, but much more so in a bridal magazine where everything is about creating a fantasy. And finally, is it all worth it really?

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