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Seating Arrangements

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ISBN13: 9780307599469
ISBN10: 0307599469
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

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. 

Review:

"Vibrant prose and moments of keen insight lighten an otherwise lackluster debut in this comedy of manners set during the days preceding a wedding. Daphne Van Meter is getting married at her family's New England summerhouse, her advanced pregnancy a blight on the festivities for the older WASP set. Her father, Winn, feeling increasingly irrelevant at work and in the eyes of his family, toys with the idea of adultery, though his real passion is gaining admittance to Waskeke island's exclusive golf club. Daphne's younger sister Livia, unable to recover from her recent abortion and breakup, makes halfhearted attempts to find a rebound interest as the weekend progresses. Also on the scene is Biddy, Winn's solid if unspectacular wife (she falls asleep during sex and only wants Winn to be discreet if he cheats). The characters are either bland or unsympathetic, and with little plot, the book lacks energy. Readers looking for a thoughtful beach read may find moments of distraction in Shipstead's linguistic dexterity, but the glacial pace and dull characters will likely put them to sleep. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Company. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

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. 

Synopsis:

A deliciously absorbing social comedy, set on an exclusive island off Cape Cod, that tracks a catastrophic three-day wedding weekend with an irresistible mix of wit and tenderness--a pitch-perfect debut (and a wicked pleasure!) from a hugely talented young writer.

Winn Van Meter has a Harvard education, membership in all the right clubs, a pedigreed wife, and a tastefully understated summer home on a pristine New England island where the wedding of his eldest daughter, Daphne, is about to take place. The weather is idyllic and so, it would seem, is the gathering. But: the bride is seven months pregnant; the maid of honor, Daphne's younger sister, has just had her heart broken by the son of her father's oldest rival; Aunt Celeste, herself on her fifth marriage, watches with a jaundiced eye as the groom's exceedingly well-dressed brothers stealthily make their way through the bridal party. And the irresistible siren call of Daphne's best friend, the bombshell bridesmaid Agatha, will drive the bride's father finally to combust, taking the family down with him in a raucous explosion of misplaced attention and thwarted desire, not to mention  confetti and wedding cake.

About the Author

Maggie Shipstead was born in 1983 and grew up in Orange County, California. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, VQR, Glimmer Train, The Best American Short Stories, and other publications. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

ENERI, January 7, 2013 (view all comments by ENERI)
Loved the language, hated (most) of the characters, devoured the plot - a good combination overall.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Amy Cavanaugh, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Amy Cavanaugh)
A hilarious, bittersweet critique of contemporary marriage. It's precisely what I could imagine Jane Austen writing if she were presented with the current state of marital affairs.
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View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307599469
Author:
Shipstead, Maggie
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Subject:
fiction;family;new england;wedding;marriage;social satire;novel;relationships
Publication Date:
20120612
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.55 x 1.26 in 1.26 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Satire

Seating Arrangements Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307599469 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Vibrant prose and moments of keen insight lighten an otherwise lackluster debut in this comedy of manners set during the days preceding a wedding. Daphne Van Meter is getting married at her family's New England summerhouse, her advanced pregnancy a blight on the festivities for the older WASP set. Her father, Winn, feeling increasingly irrelevant at work and in the eyes of his family, toys with the idea of adultery, though his real passion is gaining admittance to Waskeke island's exclusive golf club. Daphne's younger sister Livia, unable to recover from her recent abortion and breakup, makes halfhearted attempts to find a rebound interest as the weekend progresses. Also on the scene is Biddy, Winn's solid if unspectacular wife (she falls asleep during sex and only wants Winn to be discreet if he cheats). The characters are either bland or unsympathetic, and with little plot, the book lacks energy. Readers looking for a thoughtful beach read may find moments of distraction in Shipstead's linguistic dexterity, but the glacial pace and dull characters will likely put them to sleep. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Company. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

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. 

"Synopsis" by , A deliciously absorbing social comedy, set on an exclusive island off Cape Cod, that tracks a catastrophic three-day wedding weekend with an irresistible mix of wit and tenderness--a pitch-perfect debut (and a wicked pleasure!) from a hugely talented young writer.

Winn Van Meter has a Harvard education, membership in all the right clubs, a pedigreed wife, and a tastefully understated summer home on a pristine New England island where the wedding of his eldest daughter, Daphne, is about to take place. The weather is idyllic and so, it would seem, is the gathering. But: the bride is seven months pregnant; the maid of honor, Daphne's younger sister, has just had her heart broken by the son of her father's oldest rival; Aunt Celeste, herself on her fifth marriage, watches with a jaundiced eye as the groom's exceedingly well-dressed brothers stealthily make their way through the bridal party. And the irresistible siren call of Daphne's best friend, the bombshell bridesmaid Agatha, will drive the bride's father finally to combust, taking the family down with him in a raucous explosion of misplaced attention and thwarted desire, not to mention  confetti and wedding cake.

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