Review: The Best Man by Dianne Blacklock


Title: The Best Man

Author: Dianne Blacklock

Published: Pan Macmillan September 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from September 02 to 03, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

The ninth book by Australian author Dianne Blacklock, The Best Man is an appealing story that asks the question, is the best man always the right man?

When book publicist and party girl, Madeleine Pepper, met reserved American children’s author, Henry Darrow, it was a case of ‘opposites attract’. Now it is just weeks until their wedding and Madeleine is excited to be welcoming Henry’s best man, Aiden Carmichael, for a month long visit. Aiden is charismatic, outgoing and impulsive, in effect, everything solemn and staid Henry is not, and Madeleine starts to wonder if Henry is the best man for her after all.

‘Cold feet’ in the lead up to marriage is not an uncommon phenomena, doubts can be magnified by the stress of such a significant event. In The Best Man, Blacklock explores the themes of love, friendship and commitment as Madeleine and Henry’s relationship is rocked by secrets and betrayal.

Madeleine, warm and bubbly, is a likeable protagonist but not uncomplicated, she has issues with grief, denial and with alcohol. She feels she owes Henry, who not only saved her from herself but also picked up and moved halfway around the world to be with her. It is astonishingly easy for Aiden to subtly encourage Maddie’s doubts about her relationship with Henry, mostly because Madeleine isn’t willing to confront or admit to her own failings.

The Best Man is light and entertaining, spiked with humour and wit but it is not without depth. Alcoholism is one of the more serious issues explored in the novel, Madeleine may not embody the classic stereotype of an alcoholic but she has trouble stopping at just one drink and her consumption interferes both her relationship and her work. Henry’s disappointment with Madeleine’s binge drinking makes much more sense when we learn of his family history, and when we are witness to just badly it affects Madeleine’s judgement.

A secondary subplot in The Best Man involves Liv, Madeleine’s boss at Amblin Press. The mother of teenage twin boys, Liz has been happily single since her divorce from her philandering husband. But with her ex on the verge of another break up with his latest fling and hinting about ‘coming home’, a conversation with a handsome man on a plane offers up new possibilities. I really liked Liv, and loved how she refused to put up with her ex husband’s bullsh*t, while he is busy rewriting their past, she is finally motivated to consider her future. I could identify with her reticence about beginning a new relationship and I also sympathised with Liv regarding her relationship with her hypercritical mother.

I really enjoyed The Best Man, it is a well written and engaging read about the relationship we have with ourselves, and how that affects the relationships we have with others. A wonderful story about love, marriage, family and friendship, you’d best pick it up.


Available to Purchase From

PanMacmillan I BoomerangBooks I Booktopia I Amazon Kindle

via Booko

Also by Dianne Blacklock



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danielle
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 10:17:29

    Great review 🙂

    I have this book eagerly awaiting my in the TBR – I loved ‘The Secret Ingredient’, and this one looks promising too!



  2. dianneblacklock
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 23:01:47

    Thanks for the wonderful review, Shelleyrae! I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner – I came across it when I was looking for links on Booktopia today for our newsletter. So thoughtful and well-written as always – I love what you said about Liv!

    Much appreciated.



  3. Trackback: September 2013: Contemporary Fiction on the Bookshelf | Australian Women Writers Challenge
  4. Trackback: September 2013: Contemporary Fiction on the Bookshelf | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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