Bee Evans is determined to invite everyone to her wedding with a plus one. But when five people–Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy all decline the option to bring a date–Bee is completely flummoxed (not to mention frustrated). She ends up calling them the “singles” and allows them to drift into the rest of her perfectly planned seating chart.
Told in alternating perspectives of the five characters who chose to attend Bee’s wedding solo, Meredith Goldstein’s novel The Singles is a funny, charming look at the shenanigans that go on at one swanky wedding. A surprising amount of depth is present in this novel, and readers looking for quirky characters with hidden layers won’t be disappointed by this one.
Although Goldstein is definitely not reinventing the wheel with this story, she provides plenty of moments that are both funny and sad. The novel is guaranteed to resonate with readers of all ages. Readers will be surprised at who they end up rooting for. Everyone loves a good wedding meltdown, and there’s a pretty great one present in this novel’s pages.
The thing is, the novel presents itself as another women’s fiction title. That could not be further from the truth. Goldstein’s prose is frequently witty, and her keen observations about guests at the wedding are often uncomfortably accurate. As each chapter allows another character to narrate the events, readers start to get a sense of each person’s motivations and why they chose to go to the wedding alone. This novel doesn’t have a predictable, happy ending for each of the characters, but it’s still quite satisfying in and of itself.
Overall a very fun, smart read about a topic that’s been well-covered. Goldstein has a fresh voice that will resonate with readers–especially those looking for good “new adult” titles.
The Singles by Meredith Goldstein. Plume: 2012. Electronic galley accepted for review via Edelweiss.