Book Report: Toss the Bride

This review is rather unorthodox. The book isn’t new (it was published in 2005), there isn’t a local reading, and the author — though formerly from Atlanta — now lives in Colorado. Still. Having in the very recent past poured a lot of time and effort into this year’s Xpress wedding guide, and being a bit of a sucker for a wedding story, when I came across Toss the Bride by Jennifer Manske Fenske in the archives, I had to pick it up.

And then I couldn’t put it down.

Looking at the paltry showing for Toss when I ran a Google search, I get the feeling this book has been overlooked. Probably lumped in with all the other chick-lit and pass over by more discerning readers. But let me point out, the cover isn’t pink, doesn’t feature a stiletto, and — upon closer inspection — the plastic cake-topper bride has been pitched head-first into the pristine white icing. That alone suggests some teeth.

And Toss delivers. While this isn’t a book for love cynics (main character Macie is a wedding planner and truly wants to marry her boyfriend. Or at least she thinks she does, but then again …) it doesn’t gush frothy white dresses and carriage rides to happily ever after. Instead, through a series of linked vignettes, Fenske creates a very real and conflicted persona in Macie.

Toss looks and reads like pure escapism. It’s a cheerleader of a book in which beats the heart of a nerdy philosophy student. There are deep questions about love and commitment, and without laying it on the line, the book broaches the subject of what exactly all those over-the-top wedding plans are seeking to cover. Isn’t true love more than a bank-draining party?

However, fans of straight-forward, confectionary beach reads needn’t fear: Toss isn’t so brainy that you’ll need to trade sunglasses for bifocals. It’s still plenty girly, gossipy and — in the end — a man is won. I don’t think I’m ruining it by telling you there’s a happy ending in sight.

—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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