I had heard lots of good things about The Singles by Meredith Goldstein and it had gone on my short list for books to purchase with a gift card I got for my birthday. Since there were about 5 others on that list and the gift card was not enough to cover two fully, let alone 5, I was very happy when I found this book at the library. I was even happier when I ended up really enjoying it!
Here's a short and sweet synopsis:
Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a guest to her lavish, Chesapeake Bay nuptials. When Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy one by one decline Bee’s generous offer, the frustrated bride dubs them the “Singles,” adrift on her seating chart as well as in life.I love chick lit books that are centred around weddings but don't necessarily focus on the wedding itself. These (usually lavish) events provide such excellent self-made drama, which is probably why I like them so much. Weddings are one of the most emotional events that the general public attends regularly. In this book we don't really learn a whole lot about Bee, the bride, other than what's revealed in flashbacks. We know even less about the groom. I'm not even sure I could tell you his name! But that's what made this book interesting. The drama came from the guests and their relationships with each other instead of what's happening between Bee and her fiancé.
The only little teeny negative I have is that there were so many characters that I didn't feel like I learned enough about them. Joe and "Nancy" (who was actually her son Phil - she was unable to attend the wedding so he was filling in for her) weren't entirely necessary. I enjoyed learning about their back story and they each played a role in helping Vicki and Hannah, but when we flipped to their stories it took away from learning more about those ladies.
Speaking of Phil, he provided me with a chuckle early on in the book. We learn that he's high up in security at Camden Yards, the ball park where the Baltimore Orioles play. He runs through a few examples of disturbances he would normally have to deal with and during that he mentions all the other teams in the AL East - Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and - drumroll please - the Toronto Blue Jays! As a Jays fan, I have to tell you that it's not often I get to read about my team in a novel. Yankees and Red Sox (ugh and ugh) get mentioned all the time but it's usually like the lone team up in Canada doesn't exist. So. I thank Meredith for being a fan of teams in the AL East and including my fave ball team in her novel :) (And for responding to me on Twitter about this same topic!)
Anyway. That's a bit off topic but I needed to discuss it :)
This novel was funny without being a comedy, and emotional without being too drama-filled. In the course of a weekend wedding, everyone seems to realize what has been wrong in their life and what they need to do to fix it. I liked that the characters all had their own unique quirks. It made for some interesting and amusing situations.
Overall, I highly recommend The Singles by Meredith Goldstein. It had just the right amount of humour and drama and I found it incredibly enjoyable.
Happy reading! :)