Rent a Bridesmaid

Once again, award-winning author and illustrator team, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt have produced a warm and witty novel for young readers.

Nine-year old Tilly dreams of being a bridesmaid in a frilly pink dress, but as luck would have it, it’s her tomboy friend Matty who has to perform the dreaded duty. Hiring herself out as a rent-a-bridesmaid helps Tilly realise some of her dreams, along with meeting all sorts of hilarious wedding couples, but the one wedding she really wants to attend is her mum and dad’s. However, in true Jacqueline Wilson style, Tilly has to learn to cope with some of the bitter disappointments that life throws at her.

Despite its obvious wedding theme and bright pink cover, Rent a Bridesmaid is not all sugared almonds and frills. On a more serious level it explores the often taboo subject of absent mothers who up and leave simply because they can’t cope with the mundanity of family life. This is where Wilson truly shows her strength; her ability to seamlessly and sensitively blend mad-cap humour with very real social issues, and in her previous books she has never shied away from subjects like divorce, foster-care, addiction, poverty and neglect. Yet her books, including Rent a Bridesmaid are filled with fun, hope and non-judgment, but above all, the message that when life gives you lemons, sometimes you just have to make lemonade! As always Sharratt’s simple line drawing bring to life the characters in all their glory.

A fabulous, uplifting read for 8-10 year olds.