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Midnight Champagne

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  863 ratings  ·  106 reviews
April Liesgang and Caleb Shannon have known each other for just three short months, so their Valentine's Day wedding at a chapel near the shores of Lake Michigan has both families in an uproar. As the festivities unfold (and the cash bar opens), everyone has an opinion and a lively prediction about April and Caleb's union, each the reflection of a different marital experie ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 3rd 2000 by Harper Perennial (first published May 19th 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,496)
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Jkdaun
Ansay is a wonderful storyteller. She manipulates her story to expertly include so many characters and storylines. I was completely engaged by her unexpected twists.
I found myself pondering a particular quote by Oscar Wilde that she used and upon which she expounded: "Men marry because they are tired and women because they are curious. Both are disappointed." Ansay goes on to say, " He was right about the disappointment. You will be disappointed. Not just in each other but in yourselves. It's in
...more
Judith Marshall
This was a really quirky book. From the first chapter, I was intrigued. The story takes place at a well-worn chapel and lodge near Lake Michigan on Valentine's Day, where April Liesgang and Caleb Shannon are to be married. Over the next several hours, you meet their zany families and some unwelcome guests, all of whom are unique and memorable in their own way. This is not your typical romantic tale of love and marriage. It's a complex story of human frailties and forgiveness. I loved it!
Katherine
I very much enjoyed this almost novella. The time-frame is a single evening where a family wedding is occuring during a mid-western blizzard. One I most enjoyed was Ansay's character portrayal. Athough there are a dozen or so characters Ansay is able to give a real sense of each of these people and we can imagine their lives clearly from what we are given.
Ginger Williams
You are cordially invited to the wedding of April and Caleb at the Great Lakes Chapel and Hideaway Lodge in southern Wisconsin on Valentine's Day. Get ready to feast on Chicken a la King and do the Hokey Pokey and the Bunny Hop. But beware - everything that can go wrong at a wedding will go wrong - some things trivial and one tragic.

But in spite of the fire in a toilet of the ladies' room, a broken mirror, a lost bridal bouquet, a drunk father of the bride, the awful lederhosen the band members
...more
Regina
Midnight Champagne was my first experience with this author and I must confess I'm not very impressed. With the exception of Aunt Libby and the wife in room thirty-three, who are at least tolerable, none of the characters in this story are sympathetic or likable. Not even the Bride and Groom, really.

The Bride, April spends most of the book being snippy to her parents for "forcing" her to have the wedding. Then she shares a painful scene from her past relationship, which we learn was filled with
...more
Liz
I can't remember why or where I picked up this book, and I know I tried to sell it at a garage sale without reading it first; so, I can't say I was really looking forward to reading it when I started. That feeling might have carried through and tainted my overall feeling about the book.

I didn't like it that much. I didn't feel that I really related to any of the characters. Sure, I thought the aunt who gives the ending champagne toast is considerate enough and cares about her niece despite not
...more
Kitty
If I had one word to describe this book, it would be mediocre. I didn't hate it but I didn't like it either. All the characters were unlikable and the story's climax really disappointed me. The only reason I can think why I kept reading was the way the characters' stories were intertwined with one another. Other than that, it was incredibly boring.
Mouse
I was involved from first page to last. I felt an intimacy with the characters (often it seemed like I was eavesdropping on conversations) and was awestruck by the intense sense of atmosphere. The fine-tuned details, and the puzzle-piece plot reminded me so much of classic storytellers... Edith Wharton, E.M. Forster, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather.
Marilyn
This remains one of my most favorite books of all time. Not only did it give me a shock when I found out who the mysterious unknown person really was, but there is a passage that still remains new to me every time I think of it, on page 213. It's the wedding toast given by the grandmother of the bride. It's inspirational . . . and just perfect.
Tiffany
I couldn't get into this book. Too many characters, no real direction... the book did nothing for me. After reading Blue Water I was really looking forward to reading another novel from the author, but this was just disappointing.
Amy
I read this book in one day, and the story moved very quickly. I tend to enjoy books that take place over a short period of time - I'm always fascinated with how authors can move a story along, set over a few hours or a few days - and really capture you.

This book is a mix of good and not so good - there were a ton of characters, some of whom were funny and engaging, like Aunt Libby - but at times there were so many I had trouble remembering who was who. I also would have liked to have gotten to
...more
Andreasoldier
Need to save the wedding toast an aunt gives in this book that looks at married love, from newlyweds to oldtimers and all permutations in between. Covers a lot of emotional ground for such a slip of a book.
Sofia
Honestly, the book was a bit disappointing. The story itself is very well written, but there really wasn't mush of a storyline, and it was hard for me to really follow the story.
Cranky
I never got that interested in the story, but I liked the author's use of language.
Nancy
If you told me about a book spent describing a wedding, I would have said, "No thanks. That's definitely not for me." I would have been wrong.

The author uses the vehicle of the wedding to explore the hopes, fears and everyday struggles of the people who attend--from children to grandparents, invited and uninvited guests, some people who are enthused about the couple to be married and many who are disappointed. The author wove a complex fabric that left me considering characters and situations a
...more
Michael Jenkins
April and Caleb has only known each other for a few months. Needless to say, they do not receive much support from their love ones. April's father in particular wishes that she had chosen someone else to marry and not someone that she barely knows. According to him, his daughter is far too valuable to be swept away in marriage so quickly. However he quickly keeps his opinion to himself he does not want to make matters worst by reprimanding his daughter on his wedding day. Two stories intersect w ...more
Karina Almeroth
I thought this was going to be a romance, or chick lit...the cover is deceptive, I think the cover could be better to depict the book's contents, cause it is quite a serious book.

Definately not a romance or chick lit! I really enjoyed it, and was surprised, happily, by its seriousness and literary qualities (I love good literary books! But ones that aren't too serious).

I love that it was set one day over a wedding...I love wedding settings! Weddings are curious things, and I love characters be
...more
Jen
I rarely reread books, but I could remember virtually nothing about this book except that I loved it. I decided to reread it. I found that I still LOVED this book. Heavy on character development and a bit thin on plot, but an absolutely fascinating character study and meditation on marriage, family, and relationships of all kinds.
Sue
This whole book takes place during one afternoon and evening - the wedding and reception of April and Caleb, a young American couple. There are vignettes of their family - rather disapproving, since the bride and groom have only known each other for three months - and friends, ncluding April's ex-fiancé. Meanwhile, at the connected lodge, a different couple are having a serious argument which has rather drastic results.

Surprisingly, I quite liked this book - there was mild humour and some cleve
...more
Karla
Read it during a sick day. Well paced insight into the relationships of the family of April and Caleb, two 20-somethings getting married very soon after meeting. Liked the different character viewpoints on love and marriage.
Becky
Terrible. Snagged it off my mom's "thrift store finds" pile. The title alone should have been adequate warning. The only reason I even finished it is because it was the only book I had with me today.
m.allen
This book takes place over the course of a wedding reception. It's a beautifully written story with many different and complex characters. I will admit that it did seem to drag on a little during the first 80-100 pages which is really unnecessary for a 250 page book. Once we figure out what is going on with the woman in the red dress, the book really picks up. I enjoyed seeing each characters own joy and disappointment with their marriages. It was interesting how they knew this newlywed couple w ...more
Heather
I liked the way she told the story of families and the complicated relationships people have. The setting is a wedding in Wisconsin during a snowstorm, and she tells the story in 3rd person by switching from one character to another fluidly. Kind of like the bad guy in Terminator II when he would just take over a person by touching him; that's how the author changes points of view. You get to see different perspectives. There's also a small bit of intrigue around a stranger to the party, somethi ...more
Diane Cassity
Nice short book with an interesting subtext about domestic violence
A
I was not enthralled. What ruined it for me was the summary and various review snippets on the book jacket. They made me expect an ending that was absolutely fabulous and explosive and so I read and read with great anticipation for this amazing climax. Wasn't there. Tricky things those reviews. Without them, I wouldn't have read the book. Without them, I wouldn't have been so disappointed. On a good note, Ansay is able to give depth to a number of charachers in a short book better than some auth ...more
Erica
A short, character-driven story that's surprisingly dark given its wedding setting. The story will remind you that you never know what's going on in other people's relationships, and what looks like love might be something else entirely.
ANGELA
This was a really interesting book- it was about a wedding taking place in the midwest during a storm- the coming together of the two mismatched families and the colorful relatives on each side- as well the bride's ex-boyfriend who makes an appearance...it is funny, and sad at the same time...but written from a really interesting perspective. Depicting what its really like for all the individuals to come together for an event like a wedding - and what goes through each guests mind...insightful y ...more
Mandi
I figure if I'm halfway through a book and it hasn't grabbed me, it probably never will. I tried, I tried but the meandering tone and the jumping from character to character was distressing to me. Who is the main character? Is there one? Is there a protagonist? Is there a plot? Are we just going to meander aimlessly through the lives of many random family members and a few unnamed hotel guests? I guess I need rising action, climax, etc.
Susan
There was nothing inherently wrong this book except for the fact that I didn't really get the point. It had the makings for an interesting story - quirky lodge, wedding, disapproving family members, murder. But nothing really happened and I was kind of bored with it. I was at least expecting some major conflict or resolution of the issues presented in the beginning of the story and neither occurred. Meh.
Average Jane
This was a very quick read not only because the book is fairly short but because it's engaging from the very beginning. Even though there are a lot of characters, the author gives each one enough of an individual story that it's easy to keep track of them.

The exploration of the characters' various marriages and relationships was very well drawn. I'm looking forward to reading more of Ansay's books now.
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A. Manette Ansay grew up in Wisconsin among 67 cousins and over 200 second cousins. She is the author of six novels, including Good Things I Wish You (July, 2009), Vinegar Hill, an Oprah Book Club Selection, and Midnight Champagne, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as a short story collection, Read This and Tell Me What It Says, and a memoir, Limbo. Her awards include ...more
More about A. Manette Ansay...
Vinegar Hill  Blue Water Good Things I Wish You Sister River Angel

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