Wedding Pictures

Jacqueline Carey
Kathy Osborn

Wedding Pictures
Chronicle Books

CONGRATULATIONS GO TO Osborn and Carey for creating what is very possibly the first optimistic book about a wedding that's neither cloying nor moralistic--although a back-to-back viewing of Father of the Bride and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf would probably leave the same taste for marriage in your mouth.

Wedding Pictures consists of a dialog taking place between various interested parties surrounding the impending wedding of Kip, a corporate consultant in New York City, and Bonnie, a high-powered attorney in Washington D.C. Details not readily apparent in the exchanges are provided in the gorgeous paintings by Kathy Osborn (best known for her vivid New Yorker covers). An affair between Kip's married brother George and Bonnie's married best friend Fay wouldn't be apparent were it not for the thickly colored rendering that accompanies their conversation: A moony-eyed couple lie naked in bed, hair damp with sweat, Fay's breast peeking out from under a royal purple blanket. The sarcastic conversation that takes place between Bonnie and her sister Tansy is belied by the expressions of pure happiness and peace on their faces as they stare together at Bonnie's reflection in the mirror, the very picture of a radiant bride.

By the same token, Osborn's dreamy paintings wouldn't take on such dark undertones without Carey's terse dialog. Fay: So that is how low we've sunk. You think it's weird when your wife tells you she loves you? George: It shows she's nervous. Women only say it so you'll say the same thing back to them.

Advice is given, bad examples are made, and, even worse, bridesmaids' dresses are chosen. Still, in the end, Kip and Bonnie get married; it is a picture book after all. (Amanda Ferguson)

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