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Title: The Wedding Veil
Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Page Count: 412
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.
Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.
Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.
1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.
In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, The Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.
The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a women’s fiction novel that does have a touch of reality involved with basing characters off the famous Vanderbilt family. The story in The Wedding Veil is one that is told by changing the point of view between multiple characters and also alternating timelines. Half of the story takes place in the past and the other half in the current time making it a mix of historical and contemporary with some romance and a bit of mystery.
The story in the past begins in 1879 with Edith’s mother telling her about her wedding veil and how she will one day wear it so she will have a wonderful and happy life with her future husband. In the present time Julia Baxter is about to get married to her long time on again and off again boyfriend. Julia is planning on wearing the wedding veil that has been passed down in her family since the 30s thought to bring good luck to all the brides. Instead of a wedding though Julia calls of the marriage when a video is found of the groom cheating with another woman.
The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey was a very multi layered story that you just know would at some point connect the characters from the past and the current. I loved that this veil meant so much to so many throughout the years and really enjoyed getting to know everyone along the way and watching the characters grow as the story unfolds in both timelines. I would call the romance within a bit on the lighter side and that was totally a good thing as it fit the rest of the story wonderfully. This was the second book I’d read by the author and again it did not disappoint at all leaving me wanting to return to her books in the future.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Under the Southern Sky, Feels Like Falling, and The Peachtree Bluff series. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. Kristy is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on KristyWoodsonHarvey.com. She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.