Jennifer 's Reviews > Seating Arrangements

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
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's review
Aug 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: adult-fiction
Read in August, 2012

They don't call these people the Chosen Frozen for nothing. The setting is a more or less contemporary W.A.S.P. wedding at the bride's family's summer house on a Martha's Vinyardy island. The kids attended daddy's prep school and are immediately comfortable in daddy's and grandfather's ivy universities and clubs. (Not that they'd ever refer to the rents as "Daddy.") In fact the setting was so familiar to me from my '60s and '70s summers on the Cape that it wasn't until I realized that none of the women were wearing Pappagallo flats and one of the wedding guests was fiddling with her iphone that I was sure the main thread of the story was not a flashback. Of course, these people aren't quite what they seem either. The understated, ever so slightly shabby old home is not the ancestral cottage, and there's a whole lot of striving--sexual and otherwise--underneath the studied causualness. Recommended as a social satire for beach readers.

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