Another Woman by Penny Vincenzi
The night before her lavish wedding, Cressida Forrest went to bed serene and happy. By morning she had vanished - without apparent cause, and without a trace. Shocked, anxious, and uncomprehending, the two families face a long day of revelations, as a complex, fragile web of sexual, marital, and financial secrets is ripped apart by Cressida's disappearance.
Review by Brittany:
At this point, it's really no surprise that I'm a fan of Vincenzi. I always love her books because they are well-written, with beautiful sentences and fantastic plot lines. Her supporting characters are always as fabulous and developed as her main characters, making her books just full of great story.
What set this one apart from others I've read by this author is how the "main" character - Cressida - is not actually in the book. The book shifts point-of-view between many different characters, but Cressida is never one. Her actions spawn the entire story, but the reader never gets a glimpse into her head to understand her or her motives. Instead, the reader follows along as the other characters piece together what happened and why Cressida disappeared the night before her wedding.
One thing I loved about learning about Cressida through other people is the biased view of her. Everyone has a different opinion about her, and each other character can add a little piece to the Cressida puzzle. As more clues are discovered, the characters interpret them in different ways. Even by the end of the book, I still wasn't sure exactly what I felt about Cressida.
There was also a surprising amount of dysfunction throughout each character's life. Extramarital affairs, failing businesses, mistreated spouses, questionable paternity, and a suicide attempt are all just part of the tangled plot lines in this book. But I loved it. Vincenzi is able to develop her characters and add these conflicts without it all seeming like too much. I think it worked well in this book, and I definitely recommend.