REVIEW: Oh my goodess! The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a wonderful book. I love this book because it has a dual timeline that brought more depth to the story. I have loved all of the books I have read by this author. They all are southern fiction. This one is too but, is also Historical Fiction. I believe it is my favorite of all of her books.
One timeline is the story of the Vanderbilt mansion called the Biltmore and the women who lived there. The Biltmore was built and owned by George Vanderbilt. He met and married his wife Edith at the age of 35. I believe she was 25 and they were married until he died 16 years later. They had one daughter that inherited the Biltmore whose name was Cornelia. Edith always said George was the true love of her life although she went on to marry one more time. I love the Biltmore and have visited there three times over the years. It was facinating to learn of it’s history and the expense to the family taking care of the largest family owned home in the United States. It has 250 rooms!
The other takes place in several locations. It is about a family that has a wedding veil that is supposed to bring whoever wears it to wed a lifetime of love and happiness. The most recent bride to wear it learns some interesting facts about the veil that I can’t tell you about. This timeline was more of what you expect out of Harvey’s books. It was nice to have the two timelines and watch how they were eventually weaved together.
The characters were well developed and likeable, the history was well researched and the storyline was very cleaver. If you are a fan of Historical and Southern Fiction, you will fall in love with this book. If you love Kristy Woodson Harvey and weren’t sure if this book was for you because it is a little different, take my advise and jump right in. You are going to be glad you did.
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SYNOPSIS: The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.
Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.
Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.
1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.
In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, The Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.