Having a fiance/baby daddy who’s a relative of the royal family ratchets up a young woman’s stress level as she makes plans to get married and give birth in this chick-lit romp.
In Dineen’s (Wilhelmina and the Willamentte Wig Factory, 2015, etc.) first sequel, Mimi’s fiance, Englishman Elliot Fielding, is a bestselling author and the future Earl of Houndstoothbury on the Thames. “That’s not really his title,” the bride-to-be explains, but she’s forgotten exactly what it is. Thirty-five-year-old Mimi—“Meems” to friends and family—has a lot on her mind, including being pregnant, finalizing plans for both her church wedding and the reception in a sister’s palatial backyard, and meeting stuffy future in-laws Archibald and Victoria. Intimidated Mimi likens Archibald’s bearing to someone who’s caught a hint of Limburger, and she calculates that Victoria’s earrings probably cost more than her own 6-year-old red Honda. Meems also meets Elliot’s sister Philippa, aka “Pippa.” Pippa’s apparent gift of having ties to the spirit world delights the bride-to-be; Pippa may even be a match for Mimi’s former beau, Richard Bingham. Once married, life hardly slows for Meems, what with shopping for an opulent home in a tony suburb of Chicago (now that “money isn’t an issue”), hiring a nanny, and dealing with a tongue-clucking decorator. While pregnant, Mimi often focuses on food cravings, which run the gamut from french fries to Vosges-Haut truffles. But after her daughter is born, her thoughts switch to the joy and responsibility of motherhood. Emphasized along the way are the importance of giving back to the community and the values of friendship, family, and forgiveness. Although primarily a humorous book, it tackles homelessness, significant physical illness, and postpartum depression. References to food and weight seem overdone, and Mimi’s anxiety about aliens can grow tiresome. But it’s a fun book, written in an entertaining way and with lively characters, especially Mimi, who, confessing to a “love of all things, Sophie Kinsella,” names her baby Sophie.
A charming tale of marriage, motherhood, an extended family, and a royal one.