Challenge Participant


Saturday, 5 March 2011

RSVP by Helen Warner

Four women, one wedding and a day to remember - or rather forget ...Anna's world is rocked when she receives an invitation to her ex Toby's nuptials - Toby was The One, The Love of Her Life, The One That Got Away. Will attending his Big Day finally give her the sense of closure she so desperately craves? Or will it only re-open old wounds? Clare is Anna's best friend, the person who was there for her when she and Toby split all those years ago. But little does Clare know that Toby's wedding day will also change her own life for ever. Ella is a classic femme fatale. She loves men and leaves them without a backward glance. But the one person who's never fallen for her charms is Toby. As he prepares to get hitched, is it too late for a last-ditch attempt to win his heart? Finally, Rachel is the blushing bride-to-be. This should be the happiest day of her life. So how come she feels nothing but a terrible sense of foreboding?

The first thing to mention about the book is the cover -Wow - it is beautiful. The style of the cover reminds me of an expensive wedding invitation, the silver embossing will make the cover stand out on the shelf and I hope, draw customers to it instantly. I also liked the old fashioned ribbon book mark that was included in the hardback edition - a very useful inclusion.

The book starts with a situation many people must dread, a wedding invitation arriving, inviting you to the wedding of your first love. That is exactly what happens to Anna, who was Toby's boyfriend through University before they split up suddenly following a party.

The story is told by many people, in chapters, each person telling the story; Anna (Toby's childhood sweetheart); Ella (the scorned lover); Rachel (the bride to be); and Clare (Anna's uni and current flatmate).

There are a number of storylines throughout this book; the main story is the wedding of Toby and Rachel. how Anna reacts, memories and feelings that have tried to be forgotten becoming prominent; but also Rachel never knew about Anna, and now she does, she realises that Toby has never talked about her, but has many photos from the time hidden in his old room at home; Clare also plays a big part in the book - she knows why Anna and Toby broke up and helped Anna through the breakup and helped her rebuild her life. Ella played a big part in the break up but now she is married to a man many years older than her, who has been alienated by his family following the death of his wife and his introduction of Ella to his family.

I will not spoil what happens on Toby and Rachel's wedding day but there are many consequences of that day which will affect every main character for many years to come.

The story flowed consistently throughout the book and I enjoyed hearing the story from different perspectives. The story jumps from present day, back in time throughout the book and the author divulges secrets from the past explaining the events of present day.

I found some parts of the book were slightly rushed, but on the whole I enjoyed the book immensely. There were a number of sub-plots which appeared throughout the book and I think that the characters could be developed further to produce a second outing for them in the future.

I enjoyed Helen Warner's writing style and I hope this is the first of many more books that will be appearing from Simon and Schuster in the future.

Thank you to to Simon and Schuster for sending me this book to review.


  1. "I will not spoil what happens on Toby and Ella's wedding day"

    Toby isn't marrying Ella, he's marrying Rachel. I've only just started the book so either you've gotten it wrong or you've totally spoiled it for me anyway!

  2. Sorry Leah - typing mistake there. Hope you enjoyed the book, saw you have finished it now, what did you think??