Kristy and her family are at dinner one night when they get a phone call. It's Patrick, and he wants to talk to Kristy, Sam, and Charlie. He's got some big news: he's getting married, and he wants the three of them to come out to California for the wedding. He's bought them plane tickets already, and Sam and Kristy have both agreed to go. Charlie, however, refuses. Patrick also makes no mention of David Michael, and when the tickets arrive the next day, there are only three.
Kristy isn't sure how she feels about everything. She and Sam and Charlie are supposed to stay out there for an entire week, and they haven't spent that much time with Patrick for years. Plus, the whole David Michael situation is weird. He really wants to go to the wedding, but he wasn't invited. Then, there's Charlie. He's still got a lot of anger towards Patrick, and he wants nothing to do with him or his wedding. Finally, Elizabeth lays down the law: if Charlie doesn't go, neither can Kristy and Sam. Kristy talks Charlie into going, and they set off the following week. Patrick and his fiancee, Zoey, leave one of their cars at the airport for the kids to take back to the house. Kristy expects her father to live in some shack, so she's pretty surprised to see that his house is actually very nice. Both Patrick and Zoey are at work, so the kids have a chance to look around first. Then, Patrick and Zoey show up. The meeting is a bit awkward, particularly between Patrick and Charlie, but Zoey is really friendly and eases the tension. They serve the kids lunch from Zoey's restaurant, where Patrick is the chef. He's still doing some sportswriting, but not full time. He also wants Charlie and Sam to be his best men. Sam agrees, but Charlie flips his lid. He has no intention of being all buddy-buddy with Patrick....
The next day, Patrick and Sam go shopping for tuxes, and Zoey takes Kristy shopping for a dress. Kristy starts to like Zoey more and more, and she starts to wonder exactly what she sees in Patrick. He and Sam pick out the world's ugliest tuxes for the wedding, so the whole family has to go back out on another shopping trip. Patrick is sulky and snappish almost the whole time, and Kristy realizes that she actually likes Zoey better than her own father. On another day, Zoey sends Patrick, Kristy, Sam, and Charlie on a picnic together. It's a failure; there's a lot of tension, and Patrick and Charlie end up fighting again. Charlie ends up refusing to go to the rehearsal dinner, and the other two stay home with him...at least at first. They have a pretty deep talk about their dad, and their expectations of him. The three of them realize that they need to accept Patrick for who he is, and stop wanting him to be someone he's not. They call a cab, and show up in time for the rehearsal part of the rehearsal dinner.
That night, Zoey asks to sleep in Kristy's room so Patrick won't see her on the wedding day until it's time for the ceremony. For the whole trip, Kristy has been wondering exactly how much Zoey knows about Patrick and what he did to them in the past, and it finally all comes out. Zoey pretty much everything already, and she lets Kristy know that he's grown up a lot. She seems to be going into the marriage with her eyes wide open, which puts Kristy's mind at ease just a little bit. The next day, the wedding goes well. Kristy has some thoughts about her mom and dad and what their wedding must have been like as she's watching the ceremony, but she realizes that she'll probably never have a lot of the answers she wants about what happened there. The ceremony is short, and the reception goes well. Charlie even gives a toast that's not hostile, and (we think) Patrick and Zoey live happily ever after.
Thoughts and Things
- This book has always resonated with me. Not only is it better written than a lot of the laster BSC books, but I identify with a lot of what Kristy, Sam, and Charlie are going through. I'm a divorced kid, too, and I see some of my dad's personality in Patrick.
- It's weird that it was never explained why Patrick ignored David Michael. He didn't even acknowledge his existence when Charlie brought it up. I know there's a lot of talk out there in the fan world that DM might not be Patrick's, but I don't buy it. Elizabeth doesn't seem like the type to cheat on her husband....even when things get bad.
- The girl that they got to play Kristy on these covers is adorable!
- Kristy actually refers to Watson as a "mild-mannered millionaire" at the beginning of the book. That was kind of funny!
- Ooooooh, Patrick and Zoey live together....AND SLEEP IN THE SAME ROOM!!!! So scandalous for the BSC world. ;)
- Is it wrong that I kind of want to marry a grown up version of Charlie, minus all the anger?