I just had the honour of reading Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead.
This is her first novel and I refused to read the summary before diving in to the book. I wanted to be surprised. I curled up on the sofa Friday night and started reading. All during Friday night dinner I yearned to get back to it and the moment I woke up on Shabbat I had to return to it.
Maggie Shipstead is a gifted writer. Her story takes place over a wedding weekend and illustrates the ins and outs of one WASPy family in all their glory (and shame).
The main character is Winn Van Meter, father of the bride. Ms Shipstead developed his character perfectly – you feel his pride in his children, his angst at them growing up and embarking upon the next chapter in their lives, his sorrow at various of his behaviours and thoughts. This man is obsessed with belonging – to the right golf club, the right social club. Much of his life revolves around his social club and his inability to be granted entry to the local golf club on his Cape Cod-like island.
Each character has a unique personality and Ms Shipstead is able to bring them to life with her beautiful writing. I laughed, I cried, I cringed.
This was a well-written, fun read that kept me hooked from the first page. I cannot wait to read more family dramas from Ms Shipstead. To buy your own copy of the book – here’s the Amazon link.
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