Three days is how long it took me to read The Bridesmaid; fitted in around working/studying/single mum life. So from that, it’s easy to see how hooked I was by this book! Once the final page was turned, I didn’t know if I was feeling sad, relieved, lost, empty or a mixture of all four of those emotions. In fact, I’m still shocked at the twists as it did not go how I thought it would. And I was pleasantly surprised!
The Bridesmaid’s main narrative is Sasha, a Hackney girl who arrived at Saxby House as a pre-teen while her parents worked for the Clemonte family. She befriends Caitlin and, later down the line, Chuck. The time hopping goes from 2009-modern day London to late 80’s-early 99’s Dorset and each time jump is made entirely clear under the chapter number, so there’s no confusion.
All along I feel like the open plot gave the reader a red herring and helped to creat an entirely different plot from the sidelines (so, I thought that there were two key characters having an affair that spanned over a decade, when actually that’s not what was happening at all!) which made for some highly interesting twists and turns!
Not only does the friendship between Caitlin seem highly one sided and, frankly, viscous but the friendship with Chuck seems a lot more involved throughout the entire book! The ending though was absolutely golden! In fact, there was more than one plot twist and I actually had to read the last few chapters more than twice! I wasn’t confused in the slightest, but I needed to re-read them to get over the shock as it went it a totally different direction to what I had imagined!
I haven’t ever read any of Manning’s previous works, and the fact that she produced this beauty of a book during the a Covid-19 national lockdown of 2020 (the first one in the UK) makes it so much more impressive!
About the Author
Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.