Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Bryony Fraser
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: September 8, 2016
This cover is so cute and I so wanted to love this book. The concept had real promise: a couple gets married and then announces that they’re getting divorced at their anniversary party one year later. It could have been funny, or sad, or entertaining, but instead, I found it more annoying than anything else.
My main issue with this book was that the main character, Zoe, was immature and irritating. Her new husband, Jack, isn’t much better, but the problems really started with Zoe early on. She didn’t want to get married ever, but she agreed to marry Jack (we find out why eventually), and even though she loves him, she hates the idea of being married. Now, as a married person, I can say that my life, at least, didn’t really change much at all because we got married. And I think Zoe’s and Jack’s lives didn’t need to change, either. If they loved each other, why did they suddenly turn into bickering idiots as soon as they’d said their vows?
Zoe and Jack antagonize each other pretty much from the start over such stupid things, things that must have happened before they were married, too, and yet they still loved each other then. So why did everything go downhill? It was really strange to me, and if this is someone’s reality, I feel bad for them.
Zoe was also a little over-sensitive about the issue of her name. Under no circumstances did she want anyone to think she was Mrs. anyone, and she seemed to get actually angry when people referred to her by her husband’s name. For better or for worse, society still expects women to change their names when they get married, and it leads to confusion when someone doesn’t. (Not to say I don’t understand on some level — I didn’t change my name, either, and I still get things from family members as well as strangers assuming I did.) Her reactions were over the top and childish, and I found them annoying.
I did like the resolution (though I’d guessed at it early on) and I thought there were some funny elements (like the issue of the wedding gifts, for example), but overall, this book was more than a little disappointing. I didn’t hate it, but there was nothing in it that made me feel like I had to keep reading, and honestly, Zoe’s feelings about marriage are so completely opposite from mine that it was hard to read her perspective sometimes. I just couldn’t relate at all.
This book was absolutely not my cup of tea, but I can see how other people might enjoy it. There’s petty drama on many levels and the author did a good job of blending the past and present to help us understand the situation a little better, but in the end, if you find the idea of a childish newlywed who gets personally offended by EVERYTHING annoying, this probably isn’t the book for you. I gave it two stars.
*ARC from Avon via NetGalley