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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 




Cancel the Wedding

Cancel the Wedding - Carolyn Dingman

By Carolyn T. Dingman

Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: 08/05/2014
Format: Audio
My Rating: 4 Stars


Carolyn T. Dingman’s debut novel, CANCEL THE WEDDING, a compelling Southern contemporary novel with a mixture of mystery, and light romance, as one woman uncovers buried family secrets of the past, while finding the answers to her own future.


Olivia has a nice career, a sister, niece, and a handsome fiancé. Her mom has recently died from cancer, and when her final wish is revealed, Olivia and her sister Georgia are baffled. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to the area to visit, so they are unsure why she wants them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes.


Olivia is engaged to Leo, and plans for her upcoming wedding has her overwhelmed and she feels backed into a corner as they finalize their plans—things are moving too fast. (they are not a great fit, as they have been going to a therapist). She decides this will be a good time to have some time alone to clear her head and make an escape. Her older sister Georgia does not think it is a good idea, nor does her overbearing finance, Leo. However, her fourteen year old niece, Logan decides to accompany her on the road trip from Maryland to Huntley, Georgia to scatter her mom’s ashes.


When Olivia arrives in this southern town, she begins her investigation to attain clues of her mom’s secret past. Through a private letter delivered to the two sisters, by Janie’s (their mom) lawyer, after her death requesting half of her ashes be spread at Lake Huntley, northern Georgia and half at a grave site in Huntley Memorial Gardens. Georgia and Olivia are puzzled by this request, as Janie had never talked about her youth in Huntley.


As the investigation begins, a local guy, Elliott, who runs the local newspaper is quite helpful, and they have much in common. He is supportive of her efforts, whereas Leo is not. As she begins to uncover more about her mom’s past, Olivia decides to extend her stay and rent a lake house, and her niece falls for a local boy Graham and becomes a camp counselor.


Olivia finds her mom had a secret life and as painful as it was, she had never mentioned her past; however, Olivia makes it her mission to carry out her mom’s dreams and learns the events and the reason for the request. Throughout the book there is a parallel between Olivia’s current relationship and that of her mom’s past. Olivia discovers more about herself while, discovering her mom’s painful past.


As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life and truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past - and say yes to her own desire to start over.


When I first noticed the front cover, of CANCEL THE WEDDING, appeared to be a road trip, similar to Claire Cook or Joshilyn Jackson humorous drama, with a gal escaping her wedding. However, it was much more, than a chick-lit, with the multi-generational saga of one family’s history of dark secrets of the past. While there is a past romance of her moms, and a new romance budding; however, the mystery and events of the past is front and center.


I enjoyed the fresh, hip and natural dialogue between teen, Logan and Olivia, as well as the funny local characters. My favorite character was Elliott, as the boy next door, and totally disliked Leo and Georgia. I listened to the audio version and enjoyed the narrator, Tavia Gilbert with a nice performance of all voices.


Since I lived in Atlanta most of my life prior to moving to South Florida, always glad to discover new authors in the South. Fans of Sarah Jio, or those readers enjoying a light mystery and historical contemporary fiction, with the multi-generational tie in, and complex family dynamics. Look forward to reading more from Carolyn! 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/974656972