A bitingly funny, hugely entertaining novel in which a fractured family from the Chicago suburbs must gather in London for the eldest daughter’s marriage to an upper-crust Englishman, proving that the harder we strain against the ties that bind, the tighter they hold us close
THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING
by Grant Ginder
Flatiron Books, June 2017
Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn’t hate it more.
THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING is the story of a family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best girlfriend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable affair with her married boss. She might just like her Klonopin prescription a bit too much. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track Penn professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing his lacrosse bro undergrads. Paul works for a famous “immersive” psychologist—sadistically forcing people to confront their own fears day in and day out. He hates it. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to the dashing European playboy of the Western World Henrique, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. You can’t even, with her, can you?
As this dysfunctional clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in this bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel.
Grant Ginder is the author of This is How it Starts and Driver’s Education. He received his MFA from NYU, where he teaches writing.