Seating Arrangements

Seating Arrangements

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
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Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements is a stunning debut, an irresistible social satire that is also an unforgettable meditation on the persistence of hope, the yearning for connection, and the promise of enduring love.

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.

Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead's deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, on love and its obligations, and on the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice. 

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307958570
0307958574
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360

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t
tegan
Oct 25, 2015

I listened to this as an audiobook. It was, well, a bit ridiculous, but entertaining for a couple long drives.

d
DixieWesterlin
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.

h
hotdice
May 03, 2014

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.

JCLKinsleyR Apr 02, 2014

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

oO_Oo Aug 30, 2013

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.

WVMLStaffPicks May 31, 2013

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.

jeanner222 Nov 09, 2012

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.

d
DianeLind2746
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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