The Accidental Proposal by Matt Dunn
|The Accidental Proposal by Matt Dunn|
|Genre: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: Your wedding day should be one of the happiest of your life shouldn't it? As Ed Middleton's big day approaches though, he can't help thinking that it might just turn out to be the worst. He thinks his fiancée Sam might be having an affair; there's a chance that he was unfaithful to her on his stag night about which he remembers very little; and to cap it all, he's not really sure that Sam really proposed to him anyway! It's either going to be a match made in Heaven or a recipe for disaster.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: February 2011|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
Edward Middleton seems like a pretty decent guy. He always stops to buy a Big Issues from Billy, a local homeless man and he takes his elderly widowed neighbour shopping once a week. These are some of the reasons why his girlfriend, Sam, loves him so much. One night, after a friend's wedding, Sam asks Ed if he would also like to get married to which Ed enthusiastically replies 'yes'. However, the following morning, whilst nursing his hangover, he cannot work out if it was a hypothetical question or an actual proposal. His best mate Dan is no help at all and is quite incredulous that anyone should ever want to marry Ed.
It soon emerges though that it must have been an actual proposal as a date is set and the registry office booked. Ed is a bit perturbed that Sam only wants a quiet event and wonders if her heart is really in it. Then, when she starts acting quite secretively and he spots her with a good looking man that he doesn't know, he starts to fear the worst. Plagued by insecurities, Ed struggles to believe that Sam can really love him and that she is not having an affair with someone else. Matters are made ten times worse when Ed is led astray by Dan on his stag night and wakes up the next morning with the guilty feeling that he has behaved badly. His decent nature dictates that he should confess all to Sam, but as he is suffering from acute memory loss he is not sure exactly what he is confessing to.
There are so many misunderstandings in this book that, although at first they seem quite amusing, they actually become a bit tedious. I found it hard to believe that Ed was quite as naïve as was made out, especially as it seemed fairly obvious to the reader what Sam was really up to. Also, much of the book seemed to be spent in the local pub with Ed and Dan discussing what might be happening over a few pints. Although some of these conversations were entertaining, and also reminded me of the TV series 'Men Behaving Badly', I couldn't help feeling that they were going over the same old ground all the time.
There's nothing really wrong with The Accidental Proposal though. It is a light-hearted easy read told with much humour. Ed is an extremely likeable character and it is easy to be on his side and hope that everything turns out well in the end. I liked the fact that he tells the story and the way he shares his thoughts with the reader. I just felt that the book was too long though. I feel that it merits about three hundred pages instead of the four hundred that it actually covers as this would have cut down on all the repetition and kept my interest a little more.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this type of story appeals to you, I would definitely recommend taking a look at The Life and Soul of the Party by Mike Gayle.
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