Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Wedding in December [Shreve]

Book: A Wedding in December
Author: Anita Shreve

Genre: Fiction
Reason for Reading: for fun
Summary: A few months post 9/11, seven former high school classmates reunite to celebrate a wedding at a bed and breakfast in the Berkshire Mountains. Bill and Bridget, the honored couple, were high school sweethearts who eventually married other people. Now, almost thirty years later, they hope for a second shot at happiness and want to share this special time with those who knew them back in the day. Inseperable in high school, most of the friends have not seen each other since graduation. There is unfinished business to be raked-up, including sharp memories of a foreseen tragedy and the guilt shared by all.

Christine's Review: Although well written, this book was a huge disappointment. We viewed the weekend from three different perspectives: Bridget (the bride), who is suffering from advanced breast cancer; Agnes, an unmarried, childless teacher who is employed at the private school they all went to; and Harrison, seemingly the most 'normal' as he is married, has 2 kids and a good job. The other characters include Nora (who owns the B&B), Rob (a famous painist who is now gay), Bill (Bridget's new husband) and Jerry (the obnoxious, most successful of the bunch). While not physically present, Stephen (Harrison's roommate and Nora's boyfriend who died right before graduation), is also a character in this story.

The premise of this book was decent but where it failed was the execution. By only telling the perspective of 3 people, we never really got to know the other characters. And what we did know/find out, was depressing: infidelity, unhappy marriages, unrealized love, disease. These people didn't have enough positive attributes for me to care what happened to them. The climax (when we find out what really happened to Stephen), was too little too late. I wasn't invested enough in the story to care at that point.

Finally-dispersed through the book was a fictional story Agnes was writing about the Halifax disaster. Although interesting, these sections were long and did not add to the story. They seemed to be included to increase the length of the book, it was very odd.

Overall, this book was boring and trite.

Book Junkie's Grade: C

No comments: