Marry in Haste by Debbie Young

15 Short Stories of dating, love and marriage

New cover of Marry in HasteThese warm, witty short stories take an affectionate look at the institution of marriage, offering five gentle tales about each of the following stages: seeking a partner, committing to marriage, and surviving the long haul.

Each story involves different characters, from single girls seeking Mr Right, to couples struggling with the technicalities of actually getting hitched, to long-wedded couples who have plenty of time to repent at leisure.

Although most of the stories are told from a female perspective, this is far from being a feminist rant, but is rather a gentle celebration of matrimony – provided you find the right partner, plan the wedding your way, and find ways to live together long-term, despite each other’s foibles.

From the author Debbie Young, renowned for her sharp observational British humour, underpinned by a cheery optimism and a heart of gold, this little book will be a great engagement, wedding, anniversary or Valentine’s gift, or a heartening read for anyone who is wondering whether it’s even possible to get married and live happily ever after.


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20) LIKE SOMERSET MAUGHAM – Zed (2 May 2016)

I read this in a couple of sessions and enjoyed it immensely. It gallops along with plenty of laughs and well-observed nuances. It called to mind Somerset Maugham for me. If you like an English book of mostly “story-driven, punchline-delivering Maupassant-Maugham kind”- as categorized by Henry Shukman in the Guardian 2004 – then do read this book. I am glad I did!

19) SHORT SNAPPY STORIESAmazon Customer (15 April 2016)

What a fabulous light hearted read. Short snappy stories that you can dip in and out of whenever you have a spare five minutes – Or you can easily read the whole book in one go. Debbie has once again mastered the short story with her wonderful sense of humour. You will not regret reading this.

18) GREAT TO DIP INTO FOR A QUICK FIVE-MINUTE READ! Helen Laycock (5 April 2016)

Short tales which explore the many phases which may be encountered in a relationship. Well-observed, with its particular strength being the handling of the dialogue.

17) FIVE STARSSharon Gray (10 March 2016)

This book really lifts the spirits and reminds those feeling particularly jaded that love takes many forms. I particularly liked the way different sections of the book corresponded with different stages in a relationship. My personal favourite ‘ A New Coat ‘ made me cringe and laugh at the same time.

16) THE BRIGHT SIDE OF MARRIAGE Martin Brown (16 March 2016) 

I can’t give this book 5 stars, only because the state of marriage is such a mystery to me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these short (very short) stories of love sought, found, endured and even cherished. I fear that any book by me on this topic would be tinged with multiple layers of sarcasm and cynicism. Debbie Young sees the bright side of life and celebrates it with humour, wry observation and a warmth that manages to avoid over sentimentalism. I have my favourites, but as they probably wouldn’t be the same as yours, I see little point in mentioning them. Instead, I suggest that you read this delightful little book and draw your own conclusions. personally, I am waiting for the sequel!


Not my sort of book. Well, that’s what I would have thought before I read it. Girly stuff.

I would have been wrong.

Marry in Haste is a collection of 15 short stories about the unending incompatibility of women and men. It’s divided into three sections of five stories each: Seeking, Committing and Enduring. All 15 take up only 94 pages in total so it isn’t a demanding read, and I finished most of it on a train journey from Cheltenham to Gobowen. I was glad to have it with me.

Debbie Young writes well and amusingly, though it would be selling it short to call it a collection of humorous stories. There’s an intelligent and informed view of human life at work here. You wouldn’t expect deep character studies in an average of six pages each and you don’t get them but the people are believable and so are their motivations.

I recommend this book. And not just to lovers of girly stuff.

14) DELIGHTFUL – SensoryMama (1 March 2016, Amazon USA)

This is a lovely collection of quick looks into relationships. I always admire authors who are able to successfully write short stories. There is so much that needs to happen in such a short amount of words, and Ms. Young did not disappoint.

All of these stories left me with a smile on my face and hoping for more. Ms. Young really does an excellent job of capturing a wide range of emotions in such a short amount of space.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, light read that will leave you looking for more delights from this author.


13) LIKE TINY BRUSHSTROKES ON A PIECE OF IVORY – Mrs  C Mason (1 March 2016, Amazon UK)

Marry in Haste”—-the title invites us to add the suffix :- “Repent at leisure.” But there is little evidence of repentance, as Debbie Young’s characters seem to embrace their fate with wholehearted enthusiasm. The dangerous angle of the wedding cake couple on the cover might indicate future perils, but one hopes they are simply “falling” in love.

Jane Austen was acclaimed as a creator of microcosms, tiny brush strokes on a small piece of ivory. Was she also the first writer of “chick-lit”? No shame if she was. Women number half the population of the world. Why should we not have lighthearted fiction which speaks largely to the feminine psyche?. Debbie Young is a gifted proponent of this genre. Her warm humour and appealing characters place her with Catharine Alliott and Katie Fforde, but her stories have a depth all her own. Each vignette of “Marry in Haste” contains characters that have a complete imagined life with a past and a future.

Each little history contains the possibility of a full length novel, whilst being sufficient unto itself. The subtle humour with which the writer invests her stories, permeates each vignette. A sushi roll examined for signs of life, Barbara in A and E after food poisoning provides specimens “of which unfortunately she still had plenty.”

Thomas, the overdemanding partner who turns out to be a cat. Very occasionally married bliss is questioned. The over-solicitous husband tells the feminist saleswoman that he and his wife are perfectly happy as they are. “And do you know, though his attitude flew in the face of my feminist principles, I’m sure he was speaking the truth.”

A collection of short stories which positively celebrates love, yet subtly raises the wedding veil on the slightly sinister, questionable side of that well worn institution – marriage.

12) A DELIGHTFUL BOOK – OJ (28 February 2016 on Amazon UK)

This is a delightful book and well worth the read. Loved the humour and the twists. Splitting it up into sections was a great idea and kept me reading to the end.

11) HEARTWARMING Anita Davison (25 Feburary 2016 on Amazon UK)

A heartwarming collection of flash fiction stories based on the subject of love, commitment and marriage which we can all identify with. Each one carries a clear message as to what we expect from a relationship and what we actually get. That most of us only get part of what we hoped for in marriages/relationships, all of which are flawed but are worth sticking with. Some of these stories will make you laugh while others are thought provoking, even a little sad. All of them are witty and fun making it hard not to read them in one sitting.


Thoroughly enjoyed these short stories: very varied in length and with different angles on dating and marriage. I particularly enjoyed those with a little twist in the tale and a helping of humour.

9) ENJOYABLE COLLECTION OF STORIES – Lucienne Boyce (31 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

Organised into three themed sections (Seeking, Committing, Enduring), the book contains a cracking selection of stories which dissect – and gently poke fun at – the absurder side of love and marriage. Populated by creepy boyfriends, manipulative girlfriends, overbearing husbands and secretive spouses – as well as (my favourite!) one white witch, the characters are nicely observed and drawn with a few deft strokes. Some tales chronicle the seemingly insignificant battles fought over towels on the floor, money, furnishing the home, the tidying up. Others remind us that love can manifest itself in the smallest detail – even something as mundane as shopping in the supermarket. There’s often a twist in the tale, and they’re not always for the worse. A very enjoyable collection.
Disclosure: I was a beta reader for Marry in Haste and the author is known to me through the Alliance of Independent Authors. However, this review represents my honest opinion of the work.

8) PERFECT PICK AND MIX – “AliB” (22 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

These short stories of a few pages each are billed as a gentle celebration of matrimony, which they certainly are, although marriage isn’t always the outcome. In the first section we’re still playing the dating game, and in the third section some of the heroines clearly have itchy feet. But most of all these stories are not just witty and engaging but also optimistic. Even when the heroine of ‘Old flames new sparks’ comes a romantic cropper, she knows there will be someone, sometime, if she just looks in the right place. I like this story because it focuses on the narrator’s character rather than the plot, and in all of the tales I think the ‘twist’ – which usually brings a disaster – is less important than how the people get to grips with it, and yes, love usually does find a way.

Cynic that I am, I might have grown tired of the all round happiness but Debbie Young always throws in the odd exception to prove the rule. I found the New Coat, where a shop assistant faced with an unsettling pair of customers particularly intriguing, when the narrator is forced to review her own attitudes, and there are naughty twinkles in Cook’s Perks and False Economies. And if at first sight some of the stories are slight, I recommend a second reading where something new will always catch your eye.

I don’t know I’d recommend this as a gift for a happy couple, since ‘Marry in haste’ does have a well-known corollary! But these stories are a perfect length for dipping into on a journey or breaking up a gloomy winter evening.

7) WHAT A GOOD READ! – “spabby girl” (21 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

I’m still smiling from the story I read last night, I had no idea how a story about an argument over a wedding present would end, I thought one or the other would have to give in but when I saw what actually happened I had to laugh out loud! And I’m still tickled now. I also thought it was just me who had trouble with putting lavender flowers in things but it seems not, what seemed like a good idea at the time didn’t quite work out as planned!These stories are a witty and engaging slice of life in the marriage market and a perfect tonic for a quick read. We all need a dose of fun in our lives and Debbie’s humour is unmissable, wry and mischievous I just hope this is the first of many anthologies.

6) ENGAGING COLLECTION – Sue Johnson (17 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

I am not a great fan of weddings, but I did enjoy this book. I love the way Debbie Young has divided the collection into ‘Seeking’, ‘Committing’ and ‘Enduring.’

The stories are all enjoyable but my personal favourites were ‘Old Flames, New Sparks’, ‘Presents Tense’ and ‘False Economies.’ The stories are warm-hearted, the characters well-drawn and the situations totally believable.


Another great collection of gems from Debbie Young. Fifteen short stories about love divided into sections on Seeking, Committing and Enduring, there is something here for everyone who loves Love – and who doesn’t? Each story is short and sweet, but with a satisfying tang and the kind of little twist you’d expect from a Debbie Young tale.

Packed with endearingly flawed characters, everyday wisdom and just the right amount of humour, Marry In Haste would make the perfect gift for weddings, engagements, valentines day … or many other occasions.

4) SUPER LITTLE BOOK – “Paula G” (10 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

A super little book. Witty and fun, it will have you smiling at the characters’ antics, nodding sagely and occasionally laughing out loud. My personal favourites were ‘Having Your Cake’, ‘Snoring’ and ‘False Economies’ but I’m sure there is something here for everyone. My only gripe – I would have liked 15 more! This enjoyable collection of short stories is an ideal way to brighten up your daily commute or lose yourself in at coffee time. I was lucky enough to be offered a free copy of this book to review and thoroughly enjoyed it.


This collection ‘fast fiction’ on the theme of Dating, Love and Marriage, begins as it means to go on: with a great story sizzling with double entendre and related humour which draws the readers in with a delicious promise of more to come.

Without giving anything away, I’ll pick out a couple favourite stories, the second and third in the second section, as examples of masterful use of tropes and allusions to current culture. We all know similar people and situations and this writer keeps the reader on her side with a feel-good factor of ‘Oh yes, isn’t it just like that, aren’t men/women like this?’

A dry, sly, yet always friendly, well disposed and knowing, wit highlights the trends, tropes, and foibles of the current social scene and makes for a delightful read. Great for train journeys and commuting, this flash fiction comes in short, tasty bites.

2) DELIGHTFUL – “Sensory Mama” (9 January 2016 on Amazon UK)

This is a lovely collection of quick looks into relationships. I always admire authors who are able to successfully write short stories. There is so much that needs to happen in such a short amount of words, and Ms. Young did not disappoint.

All of these stories left me with a smile on my face and hoping for more. Ms. Young really does an excellent job of capturing a wide range of emotions in such a short amount of space.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, light read that will leave you looking for more delights from this author.

1) SAY YES TO THIS ONE! – Betsy Talbot (5 January 2016 on Amazon US)

I liked the mix of slice-of-life vignettes and more imaginative, slightly surreal/supernatural tales. Some stories tugged at my heartstrings, while others made me laugh out loud. And oh those clever little twists! This is a book I enjoyed beta reading (and that isn’t always the case). If you like a modern take on old-fashioned love, then you’ll enjoy this collection.