The People We Hate at the Wedding- Grant Ginder

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.

They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

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First off, what a gorgeous cover! Reading where the title of the book came from, I expected to be a guest at this wedding and hear the gossip concerning all of the attendees surrounding me. Expect the unexpected…. This book was more so about the background of the bride’s family- mainly her siblings and their disjointed relationship. The details Ginder infused into the dialogue were astounding- it was very well-written and the characters were unique and (mostly) likeable. Eloise was interesting, as her life was vastly different from her siblings, and she often threw that into their faces. There were a few unexpected turns in the story line, but overall, a solid, easy read that delved into the complications of a dysfunctional family intertwined with humor and surprise. ~Kris

When I started this book, I was expecting a fast-paced, witty, sarcastic, smart story about family dysfunction and, obviously, some crazy wedding antics. I was surprised to discover that it was a much slower read than expected, but with good reason: this book is a lot deeper than the frivolous comedy I had predicted. Mind you, it’s not so deep that you’ll need to schedule reading time and take notes, but it’s definitely not just a pay-it-no-mind read, either. The characters, while being witty and sarcastic and smart, also have histories that are both fascinating and devastating, and Ginder has written this book in a way that lets the reader see both sides of everyone’s story. I’m a huge fan of reading stories about people and families laced with dysfunction. It’s a part of every family, and this type of book always makes me feel so much more normal. 🤣 This is definitely a book worth reading. Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. ~Amber

Purchase links: iBooks  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

About the author (from his Website): Just another writer in Brooklyn. Novels include The People We Hate at the Wedding (Flatiron, June 2017), Driver’s Education (Simon and Schuster, 2013), and This is How it Starts (Simon and Schuster, 2009). I also teach writing at New York University, where I make my students form connections between the essays of John Berger and George Michael videos. I like autumn, pets with deformities, and bourbon.

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