Cover image for The accidental bride : a romantic comedy
The accidental bride : a romantic comedy
Harayda, Janice.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 22 cm
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Format :


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With just one month to go before her fairy tale wedding to the third richest man in the second largest city in Ohio, Lily Blair is suddenly beset by doubts. Even though she appears to have it all - a budding career and a five-carat engagement ring from the man of her dreams - she can't decide whether to plunge headfirst into the security of married suburban life, or follow her career dreams solo to New York. And while the zany and loving cast of friends, family, and co-workers keep pushing her towards the aisle, Lily knows that, despite the passion she feels for her fiancÉ, she alone must come to terms with the biggest decision of her life. As she locks horns with her mother on nearly every detail, issues like veal medallions vs. chicken wings become battles in an event being staged with all the grandeur and precision of a full-scale military operation. The situation grows funnier and more desperate at every turn as Lily must confront an absurd bridal fair, an unsympathetic psychiatrist, and the local gossip column. Before she loses her sanity, she looks to her heroine, Jane Austen, for inspiration. The result is hilarious, sweet,andsmart. For Lily Blair is a real heroine for the 90s and beyond, andThe Accidental Bridewho will keep surprising you until the end.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Just a month before her wedding to the third-richest man in the second-largest city in Ohio, Lily Blair removes her five-carat diamond ring and calls the whole thing off. A former New York reporter recruited back to her hometown paper, Lily is feeling rushed into an engagement three months after meeting attorney Mark Slayton and suffocated by Rust Belt provincialism. (Never mind that Mark--kind, loving, and attractive--is the man she'd want to marry someday, particularly given their shared childhood passion for the plight of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.) Waiting to break the news to Mark, who's away trying a case, Lily contends with her frantic mother, oblivious future in-laws, and well-meaning friends, while seeking solace by reading Jane Austen, especially after she inadvertently sends a wickedly funny Martha Stewart parody to press. Harayda is quick with a quip and merciless in sniping at the unnamed Ohio city (home of the Rock Hall of Fame and site of a Bauxite Night gala). Residents of that city may not find this funny, but everyone else will. --Michele Leber

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in today's computer age, Harayda's debut novel is a witty and wise comedy of manners that pays homage to Jane Austen. Lily Blair, 27, a newspaper reporter and free spirit, has become engaged in haste and refuses to repent at leisure. Shortly before her wedding to "the third richest man in the second largest city in Ohio," she decides to call the whole thing offÄbut can she? Lily's family is leaning hard on her, for various class-conscious reasons, to tie the knot; and after all, not only is Mark rich and generousÄhe gave Lily an engagement ring "the size of a sweet potato"Äbut he's also handsome, charming and reads Lily's beloved Austen in his spare time. When Lily's father makes her promise to get therapy before she calls off the wedding, her therapist tells her: "It's a very tough world out there for single women... if you break your engagement, there is a good chance you will spend the rest of your life alone." For Lily, however, there are two stumbling blocks to marrying Mark: she has never pictured getting married at all, and her heart belongs to New YorkÄwhile Mark's father has bought them an extravagantly hideous house in Ohio. Harayda's sharp characterizations and wry humor gleefully lampoon bridal showersÄchicken-liver centerpieces sculpted in the shape of a cruise ship, for exampleÄand other absurd style-over-substance nuptial minutiae. Harayda fleshes out Lily with a refreshing combination of emotional fragility and headstrong, illogical self-awareness, making her all the more endearing. Readers will find themselves rooting for Lily to triumph in defining her own version of a happy ending. (June) FYI: Harayda is vice president of the National Book Critics Circle. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Lily Blair is having second thoughts about her upcoming marriage to Mark, a man everyone, including her parents, believes is the perfect mate for her. Beset by doubts and riddled with anxiety, she calls off the wedding. Unfortunately, she has quite a time convincing anyone, including her fianc‚, that she is serious. Harayda's first novel has plenty of snappy, witty dialog, humorous scenarios, and sexual innuendo; its only weakness lies in the two main characters, who seem strangely flat and one-dimensional. It's difficult for the reader to really care whether they decide to march down the aisle or dissolve their relationship. Rest assured, the ending ties up all the loose ends, with Lily and Mark living (but not necessarily married) happily ever after. A nice but marginal purchase for public libraries.ÄMargaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.