Friday, July 20, 2012
On My Bedside Table
I got out of my book review groove for a while there due to a lack of good books to review and the fact that I'm not sure anyone wanted to read about the history of Cuba or feeding disorders in children. Seating Arrangements, thank goodness, does not fit into these categories.
Seating Arrangements takes place during a wedding weekend in the Northeast, following various members of the Van Meter family and their guests in the lead up to the big day. The book has no shortage of characters from the WASPy mother Biddy to the aging patriarch Winn to the slightly unhinged younger sister and the sexy bridesmaid. The novel follows these characters throughout the weekend as Biddy attempts to keep control, Winn struggles to maintain his role as the loyal familial patriarch, and the Maid of Honor navigates the perils of a wedding with a broken heart.
If you are looking for a summer read, Seating Arrangements is your book. It's quickly-paced and entertaining but packs more of a punch than your typical beach read. The characters offer interesting reflections on the ideas of love, marriage, and family and rise above the typical cliches you might expect from a book revolving around a wedding. It's Northeastern WASPy privilege at it's best/worst, and you'll most likely finish the book realizing you're family isn't so quirky after all.