Friday, August 5, 2022

The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey

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.

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 29th 2022
 by Gallery Books
4.5/5 stars

The Wedding Veil was a fun and entertaining read for me. I really enjoyed the author's previous book, Under the Southern Sky, it was my first time reading a Harvey book, I will definitely be reading more.

The Wedding Veil is more than the story of Julia and her upcoming wedding. Cut short with startling revelations she embarks on her honeymoon alone. This book is told not just from Julia‘s point of view but also her grandmother, Babs, who is still grieving the loss of her husband. Going on a journey with these two was enjoyable to read, to watch their progression as life changes and to see the outcome. I love Babs, I loved her wit, strength and character.

Jump back to 1914, Edith Vanderbilt, also a recently widow is struggling, trying to keep afloat the Vanderbilt legacy, as well as the mansion.

I love the historical aspect, I don’t know much about the rich and famous in the US but the Vanderbilt name evokes money and power. The Wedding Veil is a story of three women, their strengths and weaknesses and how they overcame in ways we wouldn’t expect.

Kristy Woodson Harvey has turned into a go-to author for me, I love her writing style, the southern charm and how she weaves various time pieces together in what looks and feels effortlessly. I read this book when it was first released, how I missed reviewing until now was an oversight. I highly recommend both the author and this book.

I obtained this book from the library but honestly I wish I had bought it to put on my shelf.

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