This is not my normal genre as I am more of a mystery, horror, fantasy reader. I starting reading this not expecting to finish it and then I got caught up in the lives of these people and had to see it to the end. It draws you in and keeps you wondering about life and it's many curves and turns. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it highly!
The author is a great story teller and this was a very easy read. I really enjoyed the book Agnes was writing about the blast in Halifax in the 1930's. But I found this book very sad - about relationships that never were or missed chances. It makes me appreciate my life and my loved ones.
Some of Anita Shreve's books have been very enjoyable for me, such as The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water. Others, I have not enjoyed as much, such as Fortune's Rocks. So, I didn't know what to expect when I came upon the audiobook of this novel at my used bookstore. I was unexpectedly surprised to find that I enjoyed this novel very much. It goes into the past and present lives of several old college friends attending the second marriage of 2 in their group. The bride has terminal cancer, and having survived 2 bouts of cancer and 1 LONG bout of chemotherapy myself, I could really relate to her story. What she goes through is definitely what a cancer patient experiences. Ms. Shreve obviously has some personal knowledge of what that entails. That is the main thing that made this book so special to me. I also highly recommend it for fans of Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchy. Ms. Shreve introduces us to the main characters and builds their stories in much the same way as Pilcher and Binchy. This is one of those rare books that should be saved for a long, rainy weekend and enjoyed with a cup of hot cocoa in front of the fire.
This is a wonderfully written story of love and life. It is a beautiful story that wanders through the lives of friends during a weekend reunion. It is about life and love, hopes and dreams, expectations and reality. I really enjoyed this book. I think it is one of her best. A true story teller's story.
This book starts out with a bang and gradually fizzles out. I had the feeling that the author lost interest in the characters and plot and just wanted to finish writing it. I kept reading it with expectation but was sorely disappointed as the plot deteriorated into a boring, silly narration.
This book is very well written. Shreve has the ability to describe scenes in such detail that you begin to imagine yourself as one of the characters. The protagonist is writing a short story at the same time that she is attending the wedding so it is almost as if you are reading two books at once. There are many parallels with the short story and the novel that are nicely woven together.
The book may leave you feeling lonely. It also leaves you feeling that anything is possible and nothing in this life is guaranteed.
This novel brings seven former schoolmates together after more than 20 years to attend a wedding at an inn in the Berkshire Mountains. The tight bond held by this group of friends was shattered years earlier when one of their own died unexpectedly. The blossoming relationships and potential of each of these central characters jackknifed with the death of this friend, and the wedding reunion gives the characters an opportunity to seek out a resolution for the paths they did not follow.
This is the second book I have read recently in which the others who have read it with me have been dissatisfied. This book was chosen as our December read for my book club. Many, if not all, of the other book club members were turned off by the unhappy marriages and questionable moral behavior that plays out in the novel. (But, then again, this is a church book club!) I, however, was struck by this book. While I did not completely understand the motivation of the characters, I was moved by their strong inner turmoil and their struggles to overcome weakness and temptation.
Despite the setting (which is very appealing to the imagination), the book, like the other Anita Shreve novels I have read (The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water), is shrouded in sadness and regret. The characters are consumed with unhappiness and a feeling of general unease. A member of my book club shared that she felt the characters in this novel were underdeveloped. I believe Anita Shreve intentionally writes her characters to be vague. Like real people, they are complicated and troubled. The reader must infer understanding of the characters through their obscure thoughts and behavior.
The most interesting part of this novel for me was the story within a story. In the book, the character Agnes, a lonely classmate pining for a former teacher, is writing an historical fiction short story about the Halifax disaster. The explosion that occurred in the city of Halifax in Novia Scotia during the winter of 1917 parallels the tragedy of 9/11 in this book- the characters in the novel are reuniting merely two months after 9/11. The story of Innes and Hazel (as written by Agnes in the novel) is told during and after the Halifax disaster and their relationship mirrors the others in the novel in it's tempting impossibity set against a recent tragedy. Prior to reading this novel, I had never heard of the Halifax explosion and I was saddened to learn of the deaths and injuries that occurred during that significant historical event.
This book is not a good one to pick up if you are looking for a lighthearted read. While the novel is easy to follow and won't take long to finish, a melancholy feeling permeates every word and may linger for awhile after you put the book down.
I had a hard time remembering who was who in the begining because there were so many characters in the story,but as I went along it go more interesting.The story itself was dragging along at first but did get better half way through it.
I really had trouble getting into this novel and had trouble finishing it as well. I felt the characters and subplots were too many and no one character stood out. I kept expecting it to get more exciting but it really never did.
A story of revelation and recrimination, forgiveness and redemption. A Wedding In December is Anita Shreve's most ambitious and moving novel to date, probing the mysteries of the human heart with the grace and skill that have made her "one of the finest novelists of her time." I enjoyed this book very much!
I enjoyed this book, but it was a little slow in the beginning. I stuck with it and it did get better as the story went on. I didn't care very much for the story within the story written by Agnes, and found myself skipping those parts. Not one of my favorites by Anita Shreve, but a good read overall.
At an Inn in the Berkshire Mts of western Mass., seven former schoolmates gather a wedding. It is a disparate crew that gathers in the gorgeous inn. Throughout the weekend, the guests uncover the choices and chances that have transformed them in the years since high school. Very interesting to read.
At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains of western Mass., seven former schoolmates gather for a wedding. Throughout the wedding weekend, the guests uncover the choices and chances that have transformed them in the years since high school, and delve for the first time into what really happened that night that changed all their lives.
I love Anita Shreve's work and was really looking forward to this book. However, there is just too much going on to make sense and have a smooth narrative. Several former college colleagues reunite at a bed and breakfast for a wedding. Shreve writes intermittently about the wedding and each of the individuals and their various lives and relationships, cutting in and out of the story at hand. Lots of detailed descriptions...too many, if you ask me...which take away from the plot. I have been enjoying Patterson's suspense novels and perhaps that's why Shreve hit me as sluggish. If you have all the time in the world to be patient with rambling story lines, you might enjoy this. Otherwise, it's a disappointment.
Jan & Lou W. reviewed A Wedding in December (Large Print) on
Shreve always writes well. Past events play into the present as former classmates gather for a wedding. It's a story about their memories, rerets, forgiveness & redemption. As always, Shreve is a very good read!
I bought this book, and was not impressed. I tried reading it several times, and I could never get through the first few chapters. I don't recommend it, however, if you get through those chapters, it might be great!
One of my favorite novels from a favorite writer - in bringing together a group of friends who have, for the most part, lost contact since high school, Shreve deals with the question of "What if?" and reminds us all of the power of the past.
I read this book after loving the Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve and was a little disappointed. There was a lot going on in this novel with 7 main characters and then one of the characters writing a seperate story within the book. The novel didn't pick up until nearly the end for me.
Poignant story of characters meeting after many years together at a wedding. This brings about memories of a tragic event that had affected the lives of hteses characters. Beautiful setting. Great story, beautifully written. Susan
I did not find this book to be nearly as interesting as many of her other books...not enough action for my liking.. more of a psuedo-intellectual discourse she seemed to be aiming for... I think she missed her mark with this one! I'm re-posting it anyway because someone else may feel differently about it.
seven friends gather at an inn in the Berhsire mountains for the wedding of a former classmate. As they renew their friendship the tragic events of an accident that happened to them 27 years ago is revealed.
I wasn't crazy about this book, it seemed a bit drawn out in places. But I will say that it engaged me enough for me to want to find out how it ended, so I read the entire book. I've heard other Shreve books are better...
At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding. This reunion becomes an occasion of astonishing revelations as they recall an incident that touched them all many years ago.
This book was terribly slow. The first half of the book is all snippets from the characters' former lives 20 years earlier. I didn't even know what was happening until half way through, and even then what was happening was not much. Ironically, one of the characters, Agnes, was writing a story within the book, and her story was more interesting than this book's storyline. I did finish the book, but the journey to get there was painfully boring.
On a side note, I'm currently halfway through "Light on Snow" by the same author, and that book is much more interesting.
I love Anita Shreve but this is one of my least favorite of her novels, but only because of the morality of a few of the story lines. I would suggest you read it if you like Anita Shreve but it isn't in the same ballpark as The Pilots Wife and Bodysurfing.
7 former schoolmates gather at an inn in the Bershire Mountains to celebrate a wedding. It is greatert than 15 years after their high school graduation and there are surprises. Engaging--wanted to keep reading to see how the story would turn out.
At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding - a reunion that becomes the occasion of astonishing revaltions as the friends collectively recall a long ago night that indelibly marked each of thier lives.
Anita Shreve is on of my favorite writers, and I think this is one of her best novels.
The story's setting is a wedding in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. It centers around a renunion, of sorts, of old high school friends whose lives were scattered by a tragedy which occurred shortly before graduation.
This novel stands up to Shreve's ability to hook you from the first page. When seven former schoolmates meet at an inn in New Hampshire they are threatened by old memories that ultimately reveal uncomfortable secrets from their past. They all go home with a new beginning to their lives. An excellent read!
From Publishers Weekly: A Big Chillâlike group reunites for a 40-something wedding in this melancholy story of missed opportunities, lingering regrets and imagined alternatives by Shreve (The Last Time They Met). Bill and Bridget were sweethearts at Maine's Kidd Academy who rediscovered one another at their 25th reunion. Bridget was already divorced; Bill left his family; the two have now gathered their Kidd coterie to witness their hasty weddingâBridget has breast cancerâat widow Nora's western Massachusetts inn. The death of charismatic schoolmate Stephen at a drunken high school party hovers over the event. Stephen's then-roommate, Harrison, now a married literary publisher, remains particularly tormented by it, especially since he had (and still has) romantic feelings for Nora, who was Stephen's then-girlfriend. Abrasive Wall Street businessman Jerry, now-out-of-the-closet pianist Rob, single Agnes (who teaches at Kidd and has a secret of her own) and various children round things out. Tensions build as the group gets snowed in, and someone gets drunk enough to say what everyone's been thinking. Though Shreve's plot, characters and dialogue are predictable (as are her inevitable 9/11 rehashes), she sure-handedly steers everyone through their inward dramas, and the actions they take (and don't) are Hollywood satisfying.
From School Library Journal: This novel has many of Shreve's hallmarks: simple and elegant prose; characters who are entirely convincing in their portrayals of human fallibility; and a plot buildup with a twist toward the end that packs a wallop. Set in New England several months after 9/11, it is the story of seven former classmates who have not seen one another in 27 years but have come together for the wedding of Bill and Bridget, who dated during high school and then went their separate ways. They have reunited and are getting married in the face of Bridget's advanced breast cancer. Nora, who owns the inn where the wedding will be held, is trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. Agnes, Nora's former roommate, has a secret she is desperate to share. Over all of them hangs the specter of Stephen, whose charismatic life and tragic death they seem unable to address head-on. Paralleling the story of these friends is the one in the novel Agnes is writing about the Halifax explosion of 1917, a little-known disaster that resulted in the deaths of almost 2000 citizens. This story-within-a-story not only provides an eye-opening account of a piece of World War I history, but also allows Agnes to address some of her own issues. An understated and graceful exploration of the choices that people make in their day-to-day interactions and their consequences, Wedding is an excellent piece of American literature to add to any library.
From the back of book: "At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding - a reunion that becomes the occasion of astonishing revelations as the friends collectively recall a long-ago night that indelibly marked each of their lives..."
From Publishers Weekly
ABig Chilllike group reunites for a 40-something wedding in this melancholy story of missed opportunities, lingering regrets and imagined alternatives by Shreve (The Last Time They Met). Bill and Bridget were sweethearts at Maine's Kidd Academy who rediscovered one another at their 25th reunion. Bridget was already divorced; Bill left his family; the two have now gathered their Kidd coterie to witness their hasty weddingBridget has breast cancerat widow Nora's western Massachusetts inn. The death of charismatic schoolmate Stephen at a drunken high school party hovers over the event. Stephen's then-roommate, Harrison, now a married literary publisher, remains particularly tormented by it, especially since he had (and still has) romantic feelings for Nora, who was Stephen's then-girlfriend. Abrasive Wall Street businessman Jerry, now-out-of-the-closet pianist Rob, single Agnes (who teaches at Kidd and has a secret of her own) and various children round things out. Tensions build as the group gets snowed in, and someone gets drunk enough to say what everyone's been thinking. Though Shreve's plot, characters and dialogue are predictable (as are her inevitable 9/11 rehashes), she sure-handedly steers everyone through their inward dramas, and the actions they take (and don't) are Hollywood satisfying.