Books

THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING

Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

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 less than perfect 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 friend 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. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, 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. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

 

DRIVER’S EDUCATION

He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarily in size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that he conjures and the spectacular things he believes.

When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and left him and their nine-year-old son Colin behind. Yearning for a way to connect to his itinerant father, Colin turned to writing screenplays inspired by the classic films they used to watch together, while Colin’s own son, Finn, grew up listening to his grandfather spin tales of danger, heartbreak, and redemption on the road.

Now, at the end of his life and wishing to feel the wind in his hair one last time, Alistair charges his grandson with a task: bring Lucy to him in San Francisco from New York, where a man named Yip has been keeping her safe. The long road west will lead Finn, accompanied by his disgruntled friend Randal and an ancient three-legged orange cat named Mrs. Dalloway, through the very cities that supposedly bore witness to Alistair’s greatest adventures, offering an unlikely lesson in the differences between facts and truth, between boys and men.


THIS IS HOW IT STARTS

In the tradition of Jay McInerney, This is How it Starts follows one post-collegiate idealist on his quest to fit in with—and then distance himself from—Capitol Hill’s up-andcoming political and social elite who work hard but play harder.

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