Welcome to Pump Up Your Book’s Virtual Book Tour for Wedlocked
Rebecca Ross wanted to be a successful actress. After graduating from NYU, she headed to Hollywood with good prospects and a connection in the business. The daughter of a rabbi and a mother who converted to Judaism and then became the penultimate “Jewish mother,” Rebecca was not interested in helping her mother fulfill her dream of marrying off her three daughters. Older sister Tamara’s marital bliss and rapidly growing brood — nine children, at last count — would have to suffice.
Despite several shots at her “big break,” Rebecca flamed out in Hollywood. After ten years and a disastrous affair with a handsome director, Evan, she gave up. Dejected, depressed, and feeling like a total failure in all aspects of her life, Rebecca headed home and holed up in her old bedroom watching sitcoms and sleeping, content to let her mother care for her for awhile.
A chance encounter with Craig Jacobs and his parents at a New York restaurant, however, changed Rebecca’s fate. Craig was persistent and his pursuit of her played right into her need to feel special and wanted. Her parents were delighted because he was Jewish and before Rebecca knew it, she was engaged and planning the perfect wedding. None of it felt real, though.
As the story opens, Rebecca has just committed “matrimonial suicide” with Craig. They have spent the better part of the day bickering and the wedding has been plagued by various small catastrophes, including a broken shoulder strap on the bride’s dress and a toddler-sized footprint in the side of the wedding cake. A few short minutes after taking her vows, Rebecca confesses that she may have just made the biggest mistake of her life.
In her first published novel, author Bonnie Trachtenberg grabs readers from the outside with an intriguing, entertaining premise: What if you knew, even as you were in the process of getting married, that you were making a mistake? Would you have the courage to speak up before the ceremony was concluded? Would you be able to face your family and friends, no matter how they reacted?
Rebecca Ross is a young woman with big dreams. Unfortunately, she is often her own worst enemy. Although she is beautiful, talented, and extremely bright, she lacks the sophistication to understand that success sometimes requires compromise. So she manages to blow several opportunities for success in the entertainment business because she speaks up or takes liberties when she shouldn’t. Of the ten years she spends in Hollywood looking for her “big break,” she spends most of them as a waitress, singing telegram delivery person, or performing other odd jobs in order to pay the rent. Her mother looms large in her life — like so many mothers, she is a powerful influence and the source of a great deal of guilt and self-doubt. Rebecca lacks self-esteem and a clear sense of who she really is. Despite being three thousand miles away from her parents, she still fails to develop those qualities by the time she is thirty-five years old.
Rebecca is a sympathetic, if sometimes infuriating character. Even though she seeks help from a life coach and seems to make progress, she lets herself be derailed by her own insecurities and poor judgment. Because of her earnestness and genuine desire to find happiness, readers will find themselves cheering her on. As the old saying goes, matters often don’t improve until one hits bottom. And when Rebecca does so, in Trachtenberg’s capable hands, the results are tragically comedic.
I think the underlying message of Wedlocked is that we can be worthy of love without being a perfect person, and that sometimes it’s our flawed human nature that makes us more loveable than anything else.~ Author Bonnie Trachtenberg
Craig Jacobs is a classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type. Charming, charismatic, and extremely solicitous of Rebecca until she agrees to marry him, he gradually begins to reveal his darker side. Not until she overhears a conversation in the ladies’ room during her wedding reception does Rebecca learn that Craig has been keeping some very large and troubling secrets from her. Much more is revealed during their Honeymoon from hell, an adventurous that fully unmasks Craig. The plot developments will keep readers on the edge of their seats, anxious to see what Rebecca will do with the knowledge she is amassing about the man she has married while, as she describes it, “meandering in a thick fog.” As she learns while trying to navigate a trip to Italy fraught with complications, “when it finally lifts, you feel you’ve awakened from a horrible nightmare — the kind that makes you relieved you’d never really do anything so stupid. Except you did.”
No romantic comedy would be complete without a night in shining armor. In this case, Michael, comes to Rebecca’s aid. He is the boyfriend of Rebecca’s younger sister, Ruthie. She meets him at the wedding reception when, to her horror, she is convinced that he overheard her confession. A handsome, kind-hearted attorney of Italian descent, he helps Rebecca become empowered to take charge of her own life, make her own decisions, and face the consequences of her choices square-on.
Wedlocked is a perfect late summer escape from reality. Fast-paced, full of eclectic supporting characters, including Rebecca’s loving parents who are not too proud to evolve and broaden their outlook, Wedlocked is a romantic romp with both a heart and a message about self-worth and not allowing oneself to be swept along by others’ expectations and hopes for us. It is a well-crafted first novel and I look forward to reading more of Trachtenberg’s work.