My latest Goodreads review tackles the subject of first comes love, then comes marriage…and sometimes in a whirlwind fashion!
It is a timely subject, since I just said my vows almost exactly a month ago!
Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary
Barbara MacLane’s older sister Rosemary, all of eighteen and a college freshman with braces on her teeth, is getting married! As Rosemary dreams of the perfect life, and the MacLane family plan the perfect wedding, Barbara dreams about the big day and all its excitement. Will she want to get married young, or will Barbara want to live a completely different life.
There’s two boys who seemingly like Barbara (shy, not-so-confident Tootie, and brash, handsome, cookie loving Bill), lots of wedding gifts for Rosemary, dressmaking, and all kinds of excitement for the MacLanes in the brief time they have to plan Rosemary’s wedding.
I had never heard of Sister of the Bride prior to recently re-reading the first three Ramona Quimby books (an ongoing reading project of mine – an attempt to recapture a bit of personal nostalgia), and since I just got married last month, I wanted to see Beverly Cleary’s take on a woman marrying, aside from through Ramona’s observations of her Aunt Bea getting married in Ramona Forever.
Despite the obvious tones of 1960s middle class life, as well as the dialogue, I loved this story. Barbara’s aspirations to be both like Rosemary (marrying young, and to the right guy) while wanting to carve a separate path (thinking she is both ready and not ready for marriage, or the wanting of college and a career before marriage) definitely resonates with every teenager coming of age. It doesn’t matter when the story takes place, this type of thinking is every teenager/young adult ever.
My wedding planning was neither this fast – I got engaged in February 2018, and was married on June 15, 2019, so I had quite a bit of time to plan! – nor did I have a reception like the one described in the book. I think that was the only thing I was expecting – a different type of reception than the one Rosemary actually has. But those closing moments didn’t detract at all from the rest of the story.
If you’re getting married – or the sibling of someone getting married – heck, if you’re already married, I highly recommend Sister of the Bride. Though it is considered a Young Adult novel, it has the feel of a novel geared more toward a slightly older audience. But it is definitely an easy (and fun!) read that won’t feel like a chore, and is not at all boring!
Some of the ideals, descriptions, and dialogue are dated, but weddings, my friends, are timeless stories.
I think I may have read this book back in fifth grade, but now that I’m a decade older, eighteen’s a little young to get married!
Then again, being from Mississippi, plenty of people I went to high school with got married at that age, so 🤷♀️🤷♀️
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