Three Weddings & a Bar Mitzvah is the final book in Melody Carlson's 86 Bloomberg Place series. It features four young women who are housemates.
- Megan is dating Marcus. Evidently he is a relatively new Christian. In his previous career in finance, he made lots of money; now he is planning to be a missionary. He heads off to Zambia without her and she isn't sure where they stand. She has been working at an interior design firm, but quits to teach middle school art.
- Kendall is the keeper of the house in which they are living. It belonged to her grandmother, who is now in a nursing home. Evidently in an earlier book she put an ad in the paper and ended up with the others as housemates. She is pregnant with Matthew's baby but is engaged to marry Killili, who is from Hawaii, which I guess is where they met. Her parents are loving, but overbearing.
- Anna is dating Edmund, with whom she works. However, she has always played it cool with him, not letting him get too close emotionally. Now, however, there is a flirtatious young intern at work who sets her cap for Edmund. Who will get the guy? Anna's brother Gil is engaged to Lelani, another housemate. They belong to a large Hispanic family and have a very bossy mom.
- Lelani is from Hawaii. She has a one year old daughter, whose father is a married doctor. She is in college, wants to go to medical school and is engaged to Gil, Anna's brother. There is bad blood between her and her mother.
This book is definitely part of a series. I haven't read any of the other books in it, and as such I could definitely see that there were things I was missing; however I was still able to enjoy this book. Like The Potluck Club books, Debbie Macomber's yarn shop books or her Cedar Cove books, it is a "group of women" slightly soap-operaish book where the characters and their relationships to each other were more important than the plotline--and yes, everyone lives happily ever after here.
The characters in this book pray together, and Marcus and Kendall discuss how he feels called to the mission field and how he wants to follow God's will in his life. As a Catholic, the book had a couple of minor irritants to me. First of all it mentioned that Gil was marrying outside his culture and faith. Secondly, at one point Anna gets a horrible attack of conscience and heads "to a place she seldom visited. Well, besides Christmas and Easter. She drove to church, parked her car and went inside the sanctuary, where she sat for a while. Finally, she went to confession...." Why is it that the Catholic girl is the one who doesn't take her religion seriously (and no, missing mass is not what sent her to confession). While religion is not the main focus of the book, there may be enough of it to turn off someone who doesn't like Christian fiction.
I enjoyed this basically fluffy piece of Christian chick-lit. First Wildcard will tour it September 28. Check back then to read the first chapter and learn about the author.