Friday, January 22, 2021


Title: For the Love of Friends
Author: Sara Goodman Confino
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
My GoodReads Rating: 

It is the love of friends and family that gets 32-year-old Lily Weiss to agree to be a part of five weddings within weeks of each other. A talented writer, Lily handles PR for a science foundation. But all her mother is concerned about is that she doesn't have a marital prospect.

At first her office colleague Caryn Donaldson asks her to be her bridesmaid, then college roommate Sharon asks her the same. Then best friend Megan asks her to be maid of honour. Lily has barely any time to recover when younger brother Jake announces his plans for a destination wedding with fiancée, Madison, and then it’s younger sister Amy getting married to her boyfriend, Tyler.

Lily finds herself struggling under the financial implications of having to scrounge and save and come up with money to buy five bridesmaid dress, five pairs of shoes, besides the stress and cost of throwing showers and bachelorette parties and paying for gifts for the showers and weddings. And then there’s the added cost of the hotel room and airfare to Mexico. All this without a date and her own mother rubbing it in. 

The most unbearable part of it all is that on the night of Megan’s engagement, she got to know about Amy’s upcoming wedding, and in a moment of frustrated disappointment, drank too much and ended up sleeping with one of Megan’s groomsmen. And she doesn’t even know the guy’s name.

To make matters worse, there’s drama from Momzillas, Bridezillas, and even bridesmaids from hell. Thankfully, she makes a new friend in Alex, one of the groomsmen in Megan's wedding.

It’s a recipe for disaster. What’s a girl to do, if not vent? So Lily starts her anonymous blog, Bridemania, to talk about the drama that is now her life. The blog allows her to be sarcastic and snarky as she chooses to be. After all it's anonymous. But what will happen if people ever get wind of what she has written?



The writing is fun and witty; the style chatty. The book is a mix of narrative interspersed with emails, texts and blogposts.

There were naturally too many characters, and I agreed with Lily that they were mostly all alike. It was also hard to keep track of all the showers and parties and figure out just how badly Lily's bank balance was suffering as a result.

I did, however, enjoy the pop culture and current affairs references to Willy Wonka, Nellie Bly, Marty McFly, Doc Brown, Mean Girls, Austin Powers, Princess Leia, Goldilocks, Brangelina, even Azkaban.



I'd picked up this book, thinking that chick lit meant light reading but before long I found myself hyperventilating at the thought of all the Bridezillas, Momzillas and all their crazy demands.

Beneath the garb of chick-lit, the book felt like a cry for singles to be allowed space to be, for women to not be body-shamed, for mothers to treat their daughters with compassion and love, because the tone and content of a mother's voice is what a daughter carries all her life. 

I don’t know how American women can cope with all the crap that bridesmaids have to face.

Of course, in India, wedding madness has been elevated to an art form. But even so, I think it’s unfair to expect women to pay for expensive clothing that’s too horrible to wear again, and have to throw showers and parties besides. I’d never sign up. The book becomes a critique of this element of the wedding culture. Also, a critique of the culture that forces people to fit in or feel left out.


I wasn't too happy with the ending honestly. The snarky tone could have been pulled down a notch, but the excessive apologies meant that all Lily's grievances were not only never fully addressed but also summarily dismissed. I felt that Lily should have been allowed to make a point about the fact that the wedding culture is so commercialised and that there was so little emphasis on the significance of the marriage. 

Plus, the end of Sharon's friendship was unrequired. I felt bemused and aggrieved to note that while she broke off the friendship, it didn't stop her from keeping the gift that Lily sent.  

(I read this book through NetGalley. Thank you, NetGalley, the author and the publisher.)

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