Rent a Bridesmaid
by Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin Random House, $35)
Reviewed by Sophie Robinson
‘Very pretty sensible nine-year-old… will attend any wedding ceremony… very small rental…’ That’s how Tilly’s Rent-a-Bridesmaid advertisement reads, in Jacqueline Wilson’s newest title, named of course Rent a Bridesmaid. Tilly (a.k.a Matilda) lives with her dad, her mum having left. Tilly is sensible, tidy, a little bit shy, and loves gorgeous girly dresses. Especially if they are raspberry ice-cream pink coloured!
One day her best friend Mattie (a.k.a another Matilda) gives Tilly her used-once, raspberry ice-cream pink bridesmaid dress. Unfortunately Tilly doesn’t have a wedding to be a bridesmaid at. Mattie is somewhat a tomboy and is quite happy to hand over a girly dress. Together, Mattie and Tilly hatch a plan for Tilly to hire herself and the dress out as a bridesmaid. Thanks to the advertisement, Tilly succeeds in attending three different weddings. She finds new relationships in unexpected places, and also learns quite a bit about her existing family and friends, not to mention herself. She reconnects with her mum … ‘Are you my actual real mum?’ The story has a satisfying, happy ending which feels just right.
As with previous Jacqueline Wilson titles, it’s a great read, I enjoyed it just as much as the others I’ve read. You don’t need to have read any previous titles however to enjoy this one, it’s a stand-alone not a sequel. Highly recommended, for girls 8 – 11.