I admit that I’m fairly biased when it comes to this book. Lucy Mangan is one of my favourite writers, and her weekly Guardian column frequently reduces me to tears of laughter. They’re just what I need on a Saturday morning whilst avoiding the lure of the bacon sarnie, which would inevitably undo all the good work of the pilates session that has made me hurt in places that I didn’t think were possible. Her writing is intelligent, hilarious and also thoughtful, which is why I was surprised to find that she had three books out, none of which I’d read.
‘The Reluctant Bride’ is one of these books: a largely factual account of the run-up to her wedding, although she does note in a foreword that ‘[i]t all passed in a blur…plus some names…have been changed to protect the innocent’. Having read it, I suspect that it’s not only the innocent whose names have been changed- if Siobhan is really Siobhan, I’ll be amazed (you’ll see why…)! The humour that Lucy (I can’t call her Mangan, my crush is too great) can wring out of the smallest everyday things is amazing, so it’s hardly surprising that I was hooting with laughter for the majority of the book. This earned me several strange looks on the Metro, with a couple of people edging away from me.
I’m not going to say too much about the ‘plot’ (to say that she gets married is not a spoiler!), apart from that her family are endearing and ‘bickery’, Toryboy is wonderful and infuriating, and the 10 reasons that Lucy comes up with, when asked why she loves him, are really rather sweet. Lucy’s self-deprecation also doesn’t feel forced, which can often happen when writers are trying to be funny- it’s entirely plausible that her entire family do, in fact, think that she’s both fat-chested and vertically challenged, and love her in spite of it.
I really recommend this book for when you’re feeling a bit blue, or if you’ve just finished something that was a bit heavy-going. It’s almost guaranteed to make you giggle out loud. Just don’t blame me if people give you a wide bearth…