Book Review: Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross

‘So tell me Nina.” His voice is soft, husky, urgent. ‘Have you ever done it in the back of a hearse?’

I know I said I wasn’t down with romances or chick-lits as of late but if said romance/chick-lit involves death, then you know I gotta do it em.

Meet Nina Sherwood, an ambitious undertaker who has taken on the business of a lifetime (hehe). Nina has just opened her first funeral parlour on the grand street of Primrose Hill. Recently fired from her swanky undertaker job, Nina has decided that she wants to open a funeral home that cares not about profit but the dead and their family. It’s all very grand of her and all but she faces opposition on all sides as none of the residents of Primrose much want her shop of death scouring the land of the rich and fabulous. Who on earth wants to think about death while sipping a fancy latte across the way? The resistance comes fast and furious but Nina is determined to prosper one way or another. . Nina is not one to back away from a challenge, why should she? She has the grim reaper on her side.

This was a fun, light read that although dealt with the heavy subject of death, never took itself too serious. Nina is a fun character. She’s sweet, smart, brave, and stubborn. Sometimes too accommodating to people who are downright nasty to her but I have to give her that, because me? I would be slinging attitude left and right at certain characters, maybe cackling like a witch and leaving them ominous notes that simply stated a future date.

I know this is romance/chick-lit but I really didn’t think the romance aspect was necessary at all. It felt very strongly convoluted since the beginning and I never warmed up to the man of Nina’s choosing. He made my skin itch actually.

I do have a problem with this novel in terms of pacing as well. Everything seemed so quickfire, such a nonissue that sometimes I had to go back and make sure I had read correctly. The characters other than Nina also felt one-dimensional. They were just there, simple caricatures and it’s a shame because they seemed like amazing people, but I couldn’t really feel it at the same time. Likewise the plot is predictable. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong but very very predictable.

I loved the funeral aspect of the novel. It’s well done and original and I actually learned quite a lot about different methods of funeral, wakes. I sobbed at one character’s demise although you knew that one way or another it was certainly coming. Like I said, it’s a tough subject but necessary to think about. Because unless you’re a Super Saiyan with all the dragon balls eventually you will die. And its much better to prepare you and your own family for it. I’ve gone to way too many funerals in my life to know that this is an absolute necessity. As morbid as it sounds.

All in all, I give this grim peppy book a 3.5/5

Don’t worry, death is but just another journey.

‘I am the resurrection and the life’ the minister began. ‘The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross

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