It took me a month to finish this book. I tell you that not to discourage you but because I am in complete awe; it should have taken just a few days.
I love books like these; the type that take place in New England (preferably coastal) and include lots of WASP-isms. This one happens to take place during the weekend of a wedding, though the wedding is not a big part of the plot (so if you’re hoping for some wedding glitz, this one’s not for you).
Give me an island full of semi-ridiculous people to observe while sipping my gin and tonic and I’ll be happy (and possibly in my element). Eccentricities, competitiveness, whale-shorts, and clubs populate this book. The aunt who’s never sober (but we don’t mention that), the marriages that are beige and a sham, and the ones that are beige and aren’t. The trying to fit in, but (of course) not mentioning it if you don’t. The competitiveness over inane things that feel so much more important than they ever could be. It’s all there and all spot-on. Shipstead doesn’t try to go too deep, and she relies on the fact that this is a satire to not have to. An easy, well-written, funny, and (actually) poignant novel – it’s a fantastic one for summer. Preferably by the ocean on the deck of a house with a whale over the front door.