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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Unwedding

Narrator: Christine Lakin

ISBN: 9781538757581

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: 06/04/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

The White Lotus meets Agatha Christie in The Unwedding, the adult fiction debut from #1 New York Times bestselling YA author Ally Condie, about a recent divorcee whose vacation at an exclusive Big Sur resort unravels when she discovers a dead body on the day a wedding was set to occur.

Ellery Wainwright is alone at the edge of the world.

She and her husband, Luke, were supposed to spend their twentieth wedding anniversary together at the luxurious Resort at Broken Point in Big Sur, California. Where better to celebrate a marriage, a family, and a life together than at one of the most stunning places on earth?

But now she’s traveling solo.

To add insult to injury, there’s a wedding at Broken Point scheduled during her stay. Ellery remembers how it felt to be on the cusp of everything new and wonderful, with a loved and certain future glimmering just ahead. Now, she isn’t certain of anything except for her love for her kids and her growing realization that this place, though beautiful, is unsettling.

When Ellery discovers the body of the groom floating in the pool in the rain, she realizes that she is not the only one whose future is no longer guaranteed. Before the police can reach Broken Point, a mudslide takes out the road to the resort, leaving the guests trapped. When another guest dies, it’s clear something horrible is brewing.

Everyone at Broken Point has a secret. And everyone has a shadow. Including Ellery.

My Review

#1 New York Times bestselling author of YA novels returns with her dazzling adult debut, THE UNWEDDING —a blend of White Lotus and Agatha Christie, a twisty whodunit escapist mystery thriller with a gorgeous, dangerous Big Sur backdrop.


A newly divorced woman whose solo vacation at an exclusive resort unravels when she discovers a dead body on the wedding day, and she may be the only one who can find the killer. While confronting her loss, she is trying to survive a deadly story and solve not one, but two murders.

Ellery Wainwright finds herself on a solo trip after she and her husband were to spend their 20th wedding anniversary at the luxurious Resort at Broken Point, in Big Sur, California. She is lost. They are no longer celebrating. A divorce, before their oldest child's senior year. Three children: Kate, Ethan, and Maddie.

The deposit was non-refundable, and she decided what could be worse than being at one of the most beautiful places on earth for a getaway—from the stunning ocean vistas, spa, luxury accommodations, fine dining, eclectic art collections, and gallery, in addition to the beautiful views, yoga, nature walks, trails, and more.

After all, she did not want Luke to bring his new girlfriend, Imogen, whom he had obtained within a month of the divorce. (five years younger).

She had not counted on a wedding to be held at the resort during her stay, and soon finds this place unsettling and eerie. She discovers the body of the groom floating in the pool in the rain, and then before the cops can arrive (due to a mudslide taking out the only road to the resort), leaving everyone trapped with a murderer.

Everyone has a secret at Broken Point, including Ellery!

Something old, something new.

Something borrowed, something blue.

Someone lost, someone wed.

Someone broken, someone dead.

Ellery meets two other guests, Ravi and Nina, who take her under their wings. She also meets the bride-to-be, Olivia (to marry Ben), and the group for the wedding when the only worry is rain. That would be the least of the problems. No one could guess there would be a disaster the day of the wedding and what comes after!

My thoughts...

THE UNWEDDING draws you in immediately with the creative resort maps and illustrations as the novel begins on Friday through Thursday and continues through the days leading up to the murder. Each chapter cleverly opens with the happenings for the day at the resort, a quote, the weather, and the featured art.

I enjoyed the characters of Ellery, Ravi, and Nina and their amateur sleuthing. Not only is there a murder, but a horrible storm bears down on Big Sur, washing out bridges and roads and leaving the guests trapped in this clever locked-room mystery thriller.

The author's writing is lyrical and beautiful, drawing you into her characters, their fears, traumas from the past, loss, pain, death, grief, forgiveness, and the road to healing infused with art. I look forward to seeing what comes next from this author.


THE UNWEDDING is for fans of the author and those of Ruth Ware, Sarah Pearse, Alice Feeney, Amber Cowie, Megan Miranda, Shari Lapena, Carol Goodman, and Lisa Jewell.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a gifted digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

My Rating: 4 Stars


“Ally Condie’s adult debut THE UNWEDDING is a clever, witty, and fast-paced whodunit. I read it in one sitting and can’t wait for the next.”

―Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "I Will Find You"

“Mesmerizing! Equal parts a clever whodunit and compelling character’s journey, The Unwedding will speak to anyone who’s been there, done that, and had the vacation from hell thrown on top of it all. This Big Sur luxury resort closed-room mystery will stay with you well past the final page.”

―Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Dead bodies, brutal secrets and a fabulous view – The Unwedding is proof that Ally Condie knows exactly what we love and what we fear. Come take a wonderful rollercoaster of a trip, but don’t expect much sleep.”

―Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of "The Lightning Rod"

"A knife’s-edge whodunit that’s as much a thriller as it is an exquisite meditation on grief and loss."

―Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "Everything, Everything"

“A classic mystery for a modern world – I couldn’t put it down!”

―Ally Carter, New York Times bestselling author of "The Blonde Identity"

"An idyllic setting turns deadly in Ally Condie’s smart and twisty debut adult thriller. With an isolated resort, a killer on the loose, and a cast of compelling characters, THE UNWEDDING kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. A clever and suspenseful mystery where everyone has something to hide."

―Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of "The Only Survivors"

"Ally Condie's dazzling debut The Unwedding is a wild and mysterious suspense novel that will have you turning pages long into the night with the lights on! A lovely wedding is planned at a remote resort with a fresh, original and shady cast of characters. In the author's brilliant hands, the happy occasion can only lead to murder. Buckle up!"

―Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of "The Good Left Undone"

“A gorgeous murder mystery that explores what it means to be human—the pain and the love.”

―Kirkus, Starred Review

“This is an engrossing story with an interesting take on grief and forgiveness, with pieces of art found at the resort adding a fun element. Edgar Award–winning YA author Condie’s adult debut is an unpredictable locked-room mystery for Agatha Christie fans and all readers looking for an intelligent read.”


About the Author

Ally Braithwaite Condie is the author of the # 1 New York Times bestselling Matched series and the Edgar Award Finalist Summerlost, among other novels, and of several picture books, including Here. A former English teacher, Ally resides outside of Salt Lake City with her family, including her four children. She has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the founder and director of the nonprofit WriteOut Foundation. WEBSITE







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