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Publisher's Summary

Maggie Shipstead's stunning debut novel, Seating Arrangements is an irresistible social satire that is also an unforgettable meditation on the persistence of hope, the yearning for connection, and the promise of enduring love.
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, love and its obligations, and the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice.
©2012 Maggie Shipstead (P)2012 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Maggie Shipstead is an outrageously gifted writer, and her assured first novel, Seating Arrangements, is by turns hilarious and deeply moving." (Richard Russo, author of That Old Cape Magic )
" Seating Arrangements is bursting with perfectly observed characters and unforgettable scenes. This gorgeous, wise, funny, sprawling novel about family, fidelity, and social class, is the best book I've read in ages." (Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine)
"A pitch-perfect debut from a master storyteller, Seating Arrangements is a rich and deep work: a smart, consuming novel that manages also to be delightfully funny. A romp of a book, with whales and weddings and wealth, it is, at its heart, a warning against the empty seductions of status and exclusivity." (Justin Torres, author of We the Animals)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Laurie A. Johnson on 08-15-13

Deadly dull

Would you try another book from Maggie Shipstead and/or Arthur Morey?

I am so bored by this book, the reading, and the plot that I will avoid anything from the author and the reader. This is a huge waste of time. If my book club wasn't reviewing the book, I'd stop in the middle and abandon it.

Has Seating Arrangements turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not the genre--this is the fault of the author

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He was probably well suited for such an unlikeable, monotonous story

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By P.J. on 10-26-12

Resist, Not Worth the Credit

Boring, boring, boring. Who listens to this stuff and likes it? I think I get over zealous on the sales, though I always read reviews, because this is the third book purchased on the last 6 months that was simply terrible.

I can't give you a redeeming value because the book had none. I listened for 4 hours and decided to move on to one of the many great books available.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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