I recently went on a short trip and with my trusty iPad in tow, I had a decision to make about what to read while on vacation. I started off reading a book that I’m doing for a book discussion…a literary, dense book that I soon realized would not fly for vacation reading. Even if vacation is not taken on or at the beach, “beach read” type books are always a must for my travels. To clarify, a “beach read” is a not a book set AT the beach…but rather a FUN book…a guilty pleasure…a book you would not like to be caught reading by scholarly family or friends.
Some people read romances as their “beach reads,” but I often read “chick lit” on vacation and in that genre, Madeleine Wickham always satisfies. Her books are not completely mindless (like some chick lit) and she writes strong female characters with enough problems so the reading is fast, but not too many problems to bog down the story. LIGHT is the key in a beach read and The Wedding Girl did not disappoint. The characters were superficial (in a good way) and the story was breezy. Wickham (who also writes under the pen name Sophie Kinsella) is one of my favorite vacation writers.
But, this time, I also read a thriller. I’ve read Joy Fielding in the past and liked her…but The Wild Zone was completely different from her other books. It is less thriller and more character study. Not that this was too heavy for vacation…it was just unexpected. I don’t expect all thrillers to get into the psychological aspects of their characters… especially with authors not known for those deeper character developments. When I read the other Fielding books (Missing Pieces and Charley’s Web) they were solid thrillers, but not anything too intense or emotional. The Wild Zone caught me off-guard with its slow-paced storyline, not to mention its surprise twist ending. For Fielding die-hards, be prepared for an unusual novel. For those unfamiliar with this author and with thrillers in general, this might be a good book to try and get your toes wet with another genre.