By: Jacqueline J. Holness
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Friendship, Relationships, Personal Growth
Rating: It was ok
Publisher: Soon Comes Books
Release Date: Dec 3, 2019
Three successful best friends in Atlanta believe they are thriving in the Black Mecca. Bossy bank executive Senalda breaks down men from business to bed no holds barred. Hip hop PR guru Jarena praises the Lord and pursues married men with equal persistence. Famous and infamous radio personality Mimi fights with her fans and for the love of her on-and-off-again boyfriend.
But when an ABC News Nightline report, “Single, Black, Female — and Plenty of Company,” asks why can’t a successful black woman find a man? The friends are suddenly hyper-aware of their inclusion in the sad statistic: 42% of black women who have never been married. Like the women in the report, they are career-driven, beautiful black women living in Atlanta who have everything — but a mate. They resolve to defy the statistic by marrying in a year and have it all by tackling their goal as a project with a vision board, monthly meetings, and more. Project Destination Wedding is born. A “happily married” best friend Whitney is a project consultant.
But as the deadline ticks closer, the women wonder if they can withstand another year of looking for love in the media-proclaimed no-man’s land of Atlanta. Senalda wrests a marriage proposal from the male version of herself, but the proposal comes simultaneously with a devastating secret. Jarena unleashes hell when her call to ministry coincides with dating her married college sweetheart. Mimi faces losing her career and jail time chasing her boyfriend and marries another man in the process. Whitney’s power couple profile plummets when her husband, a pornography addict, announces he would rather pursue photography than be an MD.
Inspired by an actual Nightline report, Destination Wedding charts four women’s journeys as they discover that love is not an experiment easily confined to a timetable.
Despite my ill-favored thoughts on this book at the present, I do think it is a book that I will re-read in the future due to the possibility that I might be able to connect with its context on a more personal level. Moreover, I will say that the tones of the popular TV shows Sex and The City, and Girlfriends were fairly prominent in the story as we got to know the main characters, Senalda, Whitney, Jarena and Mimi, in this book better.
While I liked the concept and motivation behind this book, I could not fully get into the story. Regardless of how much we learn about each of the main characters and the struggles within their love and personal lives. I do love that this book is about these powerful, even insecure but strong-spirited women of color trying to pursue the best aspects of their lives as well as love. They are quirky, mouthy, smart, sassy and vulnerable at time, making them that much more relatable.
Besides the hook for the story’s synopsis, I remember hearing about the statistic and the primetime piece that sparked the inspiration for this book a few years back and was intrigued to read the author’s approach.
However, I really feel as though perhaps the age barrier, or just the whole general concept of these women trying to find love and this “grand plan” to be married just a little too old-school and kind of unnecessary in my opinion considering the era/decade. I am not ignorant of the fact that no matter the age or era, everyone seeks out love and lasting partnership, but I was hoping to see a bit more of the independent woman diving into that balance of love, friendship, and life. Rather than the caddy fights and the brimming on desperation tone that I picked up on in the book.
BUT, the character developments we eventually see in the last few chapters were, arguably my favorite parts of this book as most of the time following the high antics of Mimi and the back-and-forth indecisiveness of Jarena’s character it felt like too much was happening. Neither the reader nor the characters, it seems are given enough time for the fallout of their lives to simmer/settle before springboarding into the next “dramatic crisis”. Which had me frowning a lot while reading this book because of the snappy approach with the pacing.
Nevertheless, I think it’s important to mention that I am a good ten years younger than the main characters and the author for the mindset of this book. On top of that, I’ve never had the desire to be married or ever thought about it is either, so I may not be the best reader/audience to nit-pick about the state of mind of these working-female characters on a husband hunt.
But as the author mentions in her prologue of the story on the longer a person spends alone, the more prepared they are for a relationship because you essentially know yourself a little bit better. Likewise, I know myself and I think I’m ok by myself and can take or leave a relationship with a significant other at any given moment.
With that said, as a predetermined skeptic and forward-thinking, independent woman of color, I did know the synopsis of the book from the beginning. I was just hoping for my opinion/mind to be swayed if that makes sense.
Overall, the core concept of Destination Wedding in celebration of these different, but professionally successful and educated women of color who were the sole focus of this search-for-romance story is what drew me in, so I wanted to give it a shot. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea but it made me think of a whole list of friends and family who may disagree :).
Book received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you all for coming over and checking out my thoughts on Destination Wedding. If you’ve read the book and have a different take on it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
To all those Girlfriends and Sex and The City fans out there searching for books that have that familiar tone to them, I would say Destination Wedding is the book for you.
Until the next post,