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.
Pages: 302 (Hardcover)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Source: Checked out from the library
Date Completed: February 1, 2013
I feel like I had been hearing about Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead for awhile, so figured it would be a good read. As I started the story, I found myself really annoyed with the characters. As I got to know them better, I felt a little compassion, but not much. I just found them entitled, self-indulgent and caught up in some weird self-absorbed drama. My least favorite character is Winn. I was especially annoyed with his obsession with sons and his intense loyalty to Harvard. I am all for school spirit, but wow. I did grow to like Livia a bit, but just wanted to her to have more of a backbone.
My favorite character is one whose name I cannot recall. She is the bridesmaid who lives abroad. I liked her observations about the Van Meter family. My dislike of most of the main characters is probably the same reason I liked her; she was an outsider and made observations about the quirks of this world of which she is not really a part.
I am counting this book for the following challenges: