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.
Weddings are a time of love and togetherness for most and for other’s its about just getting through the day as unscathed as possible.
The People We Hate At the Wedding by Grant Ginder brings us a blended family of sorts that has oldest daughter Eloise getting married in London and her half brother and sister, Alice & Paul, fighting the urge or avoid it all together.
Their sister is the product of a previous relationship of their mother’s and they feel she has led the privileged life with her wealthy father providing her all the best while they have led one of comfort but not of luxury. In the beginning of this story you are immediately given the cattiness of their feelings towards their sister but as the story progresses you are given more origination of their envy and bitterness.
Doesn’t make it right or likable but it does give them a more human feel and you do sympathize as the novel continues. Family secrets are revealed and in the end they start to pull it together.
The writing was well done and held my interest for sure, even if the characters needed a good throat punch at times. Even though the story didn’t have me laughing out loud like I anticipated, I still found myself wanting to get to the end of find out how everything came together for these characters I had become invested in.
I appreciate receiving this book to review (for an honest opinion) and having Grant Ginder brought to my library as a new author of mine.
About Grant Grinder
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.