Praise for The Wedding Machine

From Publishers Weekly

The Wedding Machine is an “…engrossing novel with weddings as the centerpiece …Hart’s writing is lovely, her characters endearing, and humor leavens the darker moments. Midlife women will find plenty to relate to, and the wedding plot line is an invitation to myriad details on food, decorations and points of Southern etiquette.”

From The Charlotte Observer

“An Engaging Slice of Southern Life” by Lee Rhodes – special to The Observer

In Jasper, S.C., no bride worth her salt gets hitched without the assistance of the Wedding Guild, a group of four fearsome women who have been friends ever since they conspired to steal a watermelon in high school. Beth Webb Hart, author of Grace at Low Tide, brings us their story, told in alternating points of view.

Ray Montgomery sits at the guild’s helm. She’s known as the First Lady of Jasper, despite recent battles with menopause, fibroid tumors and fretfulness over changes sweeping across her town. Her friend Kitty B. recognizes that if anything ever happens to Ray “the gals … just might implode like an undercooked soufflé or a pound cake short of an egg.”

Kitty B. herself, still reeling from her daughter’s death decades before and from dealing with her “old paranoid curmudgeon” of a husband, needs Ray. So does Hilda, the beauty queen of the bunch. Abandoned by her husband, Hilda sequesters herself at home for months on end, as the other gals drop off food and notes, acting as her lifeline to the outside world.

Sis is the only one of their set who has never married. She spends most of her time with Ina, the 40-stop organ she plays at church.

The foursome represents — or strives to — all that is refined and dignified in the world. Yet as a new round of weddings begins, problems threaten the unity of the group. In a prescient moment, Ray hits a 12-point buck with her Volvo while on the way to Little Hilda’s wedding, leaving broken gifts, china, cake and lemon squares in her wake.

With humor and warmth, The Wedding Machine serves up an endearing slice of life. Old South eccentricities mesh nicely with the spirit of the New South, and it’s clear that the author, an S.C. native, is in comfortable territory. Her charismatic cast of characters resonates long after the last page is turned.

From Cassandra King, best selling author of The Same Sweet Girls

“The Wedding Machine is one of the most charming books I’ve read in a long, long time. The local belles of Jasper, South Carolina comprise the wedding guild, a group of unforgettable women who made me laugh, cry, and cheer—as all good weddings do.”

From Mary Alice Monroe, best selling author of Swimming Lessons

“Beth Webb Hart writes a beautiful story with compassion and an unerring eye to detail as she peeks behind the white lace, the polished silver, and the artfully arranged flowers of traditional southern weddings to reveal the hidden flaws and secrets of four women friends. Reading it, you’ll feel like a member of the wedding.”

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