A Wedding on Primrose Street
By Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Roberta Gilbert, the septuagenarian owner of Primrose Haus, has been planning weddings for three decades. Unfortunately, she is far more successful at juggling all the details surrounding weddings than she is at managing a conflict-free relationship with her daughter. Roberta loves her daughter, but she doesn’t trust her to meet Roberta’s own meticulous standards where Primrose Haus events are concerned. So when Daphne arrives in Icicle Falls after the breakup of her third marriage with plans to help her mother at Primrose Haus, Roberta is less than enthusiastic. Troubled by Daphne’s record of poor choices when it comes to the men in her life, Roberta is also determined that Daphne not get involved with the hunky but divorced gardener.
Can these wedding planning mothers accept the daughters they love as autonomous adults and allow them to make their own decisions, or will choices Anne and Roberta made in their pasts continue to complicate the mother-daughter relationship?
Sheila Roberts takes readers back to Icicle Falls for the seventh book in this popular series. The focus this time is not on romance but on the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters. I suspect that most readers, even as they smile at Roberts’s trademark humor, will find it all too easy to relate to the difficulties these characters face. The very fact that both the twenty-something Laney and the fifty-something Daphne struggle to balance living their own lives and pleasing their mothers suggests how mother-daughter issues endure. It is common for women’s fiction authors to write about abusive or controlling mothers, but it is rarer for such fiction to focus on the conflicts in relationships in which the mother-daughter bond is a loving one. Roberts has consistently included a look at such relationships in this series.
Although Wedding on Primrose Lane is not a romance, it includes a look at romantic relationships from those in the early stage of mutual attraction through the giddiness of young love to long-term marriages that can mean heartbreak or abiding happiness. I especially loved that seventy-one-year-old Roberta gets a romantic interest. And the wedding tales of various Icicle Falls pairs that end the novel were delightful, both sweet and funny.
A Sheila Roberts book is always a fun read, and this one follows the pattern. If you like stories that evoke an abundance of smiles and offer likeable characters with a high relatability quotient, you should give this one a try.