The People We Hate at the Wedding Summary and Reviews

The People We Hate at the Wedding

by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder X
The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

"Family dysfunction at its best. This novel is addicting and entertaining and I couldn't put it down!" - Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Hopefuls

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Ginder (Driver's Education) takes family dysfunction to its hysterical limit in this joyously ribald, sharply cynical, and impossible-to-put-down examination of love and loyalty." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Ginder successfully captures the clash between people who are intimately connected yet deeply at odds. These characters are completely clueless and utterly self-absorbed yet highly likable, their trials and tribulations painful at times and joyful at others but always entertaining. Ginder's latest is a fascinating exploration of family dynamics and thecomplex way we interact with those who know us best." - Booklist

"Ginder has a gift for the gleefully outrageous, dishing out one over-the-top scene after another... A daisy chain of debacles makes time spent with people we hate good fun." - Kirkus

"A vibrant celebration of the modern family and all the crazy, hilarious and wild ways we love each other...This is the best wedding drama since My Best Friend's Wedding." - Redbook

"Witty and completely absorbing, The People We Hate at the Wedding is family dysfunction at its best - full of heart, humor, and jealous siblings. This novel is addicting and entertaining and I couldn't put it down!" - Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Hopefuls

"Grant Ginder brilliantly captures privileged Brits clashing against semi-privileged Americans in the most hilariously cringeworthy ways. Cluelessly self-absorbed, appallingly outrageous, and so very endearing, these are characters I hope to be seated with at the next wedding I attend." - Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend

"Grant Ginder's smart, funny novel is madly insightful and contains some of the most delightfully difficult and fabulously flawed characters I've encountered in a long time. I found myself worrying about them as I drove to work, hoping things would turn out well for (almost) all of them." - Stephen McCauley, bestselling author of The Object of My Affection

This information about The People We Hate at the Wedding shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Anita S.

Dysfunction at its best
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was funny, crazy, sad, and much more. Every character had their own chapter where they related their thoughts which revealed the type of person they were. Except for Ollie, all were very insecure and misguided in their judgements of each other. The siblings had a dysfunctional relationship with each other and their mother but really loved each other. I particularly liked Alice who could spot all the phonies and even recognized it in herself. I like reading a book that's different and interesting and has characters with faults, just like the rest of us.

Nan G. (Cross Plains, WI)

Weddings & Families: Perfect Combination
Grant Grinder has written a book that is much like one of the cocktails that appear throughout: frothy on the surface but packing a punch underneath. The siblings Paul, Alice and Eloise are likable and "dislikable" in equal quantities, the secrets bubbling beneath the surface kept me coming back for more as did the bitingly spot on descriptions of the excesses of wealth.

At its core, The People We Hate at the Wedding, is about how family dysfunction can be the glue that holds a family together and how love truly does keep people together. I highly recommend this funny, heart breaking, complicated novel.

Linda Z. (Melville, NY)

Love and Marriage
I would like to thank BookBrowse and Flatiron Books for the Advanced Reading Edition of "The People We Hate at the Wedding" by Grant Ginder for my honest review.

The genres of this book are Contemporary Adult Fiction, and Humor and Satire.

I find that the author describes his complex and complicated characters as completely dysfunctional as a family unit. Their relationships with others and their relationships at work are also dysfunctional.

This novel is witty and there is satire surrounding one of the half-siblings weddings. There are three siblings in total. Two have the same mother and a different father and live in a comfortable home in America. Their father has just died and there is anger and resentment towards their mother.

The other sibling lives in England, and is getting married. She shares the same mother, but her father, who is still living, is very wealthy so she has had many opportunities in education and travel that her siblings have not. There is a tremendous amount of jealousy.

There is going to be an elegant wedding and the family from America has RSVP'd. There are mixed feels of resentment, jealousy, and confusion. Don't ask about their significant others, please don't.

Grant Tinder describes family dynamics, with love and hate, encouragement and support,emotional feelings and hope, learning self worth, and learning to communicate.

Is it possible that one can love and hate at the same time? The author discusses many modern issues such as being gay, adultery,and abuse in relationships.

I would highly recommend this intriguing and humorous book.

Jane H.

THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING
Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was reading a comedic look at a supremely dysfunctional family as they prepare for a wedding of one of their own. I thought the characters were perfect satires of self-absorbed millennials and the author did a great job switching the narration between each of them. I already have a couple of friends in mind who would love for me to pass this one along to them!

Lesley F.

Siblings at Their Worst(Best)
This isn't I Love Lucy funny nor is it Bob Hope funny. Maybe it's George Carlin funny or Richard Prior funny. If you get THAT reference and are interested, then you will likely enjoy this seriously dysfunctional family. Anyone from Gen-X through the Millennials will appreciate the humor. The language is often crude and the situations exaggerated but the feelings are true to the life of siblings (at least in North America) . I hardly laughed out loud (ok, maybe once or twice) but, boy, did I snigger a lot at these geniuses of the sibling back-stab that Grant Ginder created. A quote from a character stood out for me as well: "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, who has always been well-off, is getting married in London, England. Fancy hotels, smart restaurants, a reception at a country estate: they couldn't hate it more. The estranged clan gathers together as Eloise's walk down the aisle approaches...The author plainly knows that there can be no happy ending here, but it is clearly a hopeful one, in a twenty-first century way. In hindsight, the publicity on the covers of this book suggest raucous but good humor, and plans to publish with a lot of "wedding" language. It fooled many reviewers. Perhaps it needs a bit of re-thinking unless the marketing is exclusively aimed at people under 50. I intend to buy copies for my remaining brother and sister and both son and daughter in the hopes that they get all that sibling stuff still!

Babsluvstennis

Our Loony Lives
I disagree with the majority of reviews, as I found the book very humorous. Humanity, when not at war, or suffering a chronic condition, is ripe for humor. What other species would crawl around in garbage, wanting TO GET BETTER emotionally....Is it not humorous that an aging woman could RUIN HER ENTIRE DAY, wishing she was still young and wrinkle free? Sexual "threesomes" are hysterical; considering most participants are either chemically altered or analyzing why this should be considered perfectly normal..Oh sure!
Life is funny, and this book reminds us that most families do not send honest Christmas or Holiday letters. We are desperate to sound so normal, and yet normal is hardly very interesting. This book delivers honestly...

...10 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Grant Ginder

Grant Ginder is the author of This Is How It Starts and Driver's Education. He received his MFA from NYU, where he teaches writing. He lives in Brooklyn.

A few summers ago, on the train back to the city from a wedding, a friend of Grant's pulled out three bottles of pinot grigio which he had managed to snag from the reception, and which they proceeded to finish in about forty-five minutes. And, as the train winded its way toward Manhattan, the friend turned to Grant with glossy eyes and said "Okay, guys, people we hated at the wedding: go." The next day, Grant started writing.

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