Review: 'No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham' by Brigid Coady (2015)
Edie Dickens is a shark of a divorce lawyer. She doesn’t believe in love and she scoffs at happily ever afters, however she’s agreed to be maid of honour for her oldest friend, Mel in two weeks and she still has the hen night to endure. But she has even more to endure when she’s visited by Jessica Marley’s ghost and finds out she must change her ways or end up being damned to an eternity watching other people’s happiness. Edie is visited by the Ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future, every Friday night until the day of the wedding. Can she learn from her mistakes in time? And did the ghosts send the hunky new lawyer, Jack Twist, to distract her?
Sometimes you come across a book cover and you just know, no matter which author's name is on the cover or what the book is actually about, you have to read it. That is what happened to me when I first laid eyes on Brigid Coady's 'No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham', which was released by HarperImpulse in May 2015. Everything is just right about this cover; from the stunning bright colours to the curly font to the lovely figures on the cake... I also happened to straight away like the title, because as a former English Literature student I developed quite a liking for anything Charles Dickens related. I love checking out new retellings of his classic 'A Christmas Carol' and definitely had high hopes for this one!
Edie Dickens loves her job as a divorce lawyer because it confirms her beliefs that real love does not exist and neither do happy endings. Completely against her own principles, Edie takes on the role of head bridesmaid at her best friend Mel's wedding, but only because it's Mel and because she couldn't have possibly refused. One night Edie is suddenly visited by the ghost of her friend Jessica Marley, who tells her she will have to change if she wants to find happiness of her own. In the weeks before the wedding, Edie will be visited by the three ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future, to shed some light on her life. When handsome lawyer and colleague Jack Twist is also thrown in the mix, Edie is confronted with all kinds of feelings and thoughts she didn't know she had. But will it be enough for her to change her ways, once and for all?
I love retellings of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'; it's such a wonderful classic which I simply can't get enough of and authors can do so many different things with it. Brigid Coady has definitely written her own version of the famous tale, with instead of a Christmas theme a wedding theme at its core, which I loved. While the plotline and some of the characters are clearly based on Dickens' classic, the novel has its own touch and some different elements in there as well. Main character Edie is considered to be cold-hearted and ruthless, but there was just something about her which intrigued me and which I liked from the start. As the story progressed, the reader learns a lot about Edie and why she is the way she is. I really liked getting to know Edie and seeing her change because of everything that happens to her.
The book has a solid and well-drawn cast of secondary characters, including a handsome man in the form of lawyer and ex-Rugby player Jack Twist. This touch of romance really added another layer to the story (there's hardly any romance in Dickens' original, of course) and I loved the chemistry between him and Edie. I also want to mention the gorgeous book cover and great title, which both also really made me want to pick up this novel. I read another review which termed this novel 'Dickens with a chick-lit make-over' and I really think that sums up this novel quite well. Overall, 'No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham' is an entertaining and well-written story about second chances and being able to change who you are and what you believe in; a fabulous retelling of a classic tale that I loved from start to finish!