Seating Arrangements

Shipstead, Maggie

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Seating Arrangements
"Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn's wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne's sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father's oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson's best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne's beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life"--Dust jacket.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0307599469
Characteristics: ix, 301 p. ;,25 cm.


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Jul 30, 2014

I actually really enjoyed this first time author's book. It made me laugh, shocked me at times, & I thought it was superior writing. I like books like that are different and this was.

May 03, 2014
  • hotdice rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

There is a lot of mixed reviews of this novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. In some instances it had an Updikean feel to it. A great first novel by a splendid craftsperson. Put this on your summer reading list. I was so glad that this novel did not devolve into ChicLit or Romance. Also it was helpful not to have any smartphones, texting or social media escapades that litter so many novels these days with tiresome details.

Apr 25, 2014
  • oO_Oo rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

A boring, tiresome book with a bunch of morally bankrupt characters. I felt like putting my head in the oven afterwards, especially given that I used up my valuable reading time on this. There is not much time in life and there are much better books.

Apr 02, 2014
  • JCLKinsleyR rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful tale of all the entanglements of family, friends, relationships, ages, divorces,, it's all there.

May 31, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Weddings are often a time of family and personal reflection. It is difficult interacting under pressure, mixing new families with old—as Winn Van Meter discovers during the three days before his daughter’s wedding. The book is filled with funny misbehaviours and social situations. As you read the verbal exchanges, you keep hoping that, as the action rolls on, someone will wise up before the conversation ends in a way that is not as uproariously hilarious to the characters as it is to readers. A great social satire.

Nov 09, 2012
  • jeanner222 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Our story takes place over the course of three days, as a WASP-y family, the Van Meters, prepares for daughter Daphne’s wedding day. Daphne’s odd family includes: her father, Winn, a man obsessed with social status and appearances and sister Livia, recently dumped and agonizing over an aborted pregnancy.

Pregnant Daphne and groom Greyson are not the focus of our attention. Instead, readers are treated to the antics of their families and the wedding party. Sex, an exploding whale, and a broken finger are a few highlights.

Touted as “hilarious,” this novel does nothing for me. It is not funny. Characters are repellent. Situations are uninteresting. Blah.

Aug 21, 2012

Rarely have I read a book where I could not find one redeeming quality in any of the characters! Well written but exasperating.


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