Rating – 5 out of 5
When the half sister of Alice and Paul announces her wedding in England, they are furious. How dare she involve them in her potential yet superior happiness? The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder unpacks a dysfunctional family going through a wedding of one of their own. As everything seems to fall to pieces around them, Alice, Paul and Eloise have to work together. Through the fights, misunderstandings and general unpleasantness this book is delightful look at the core of what a family is, even when that is not pretty.
“‘Alice plants her elbows on her desk and cradles the phone against her shoulder. ‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘Did I hear you right? I couldn’t have. I actually couldn’t have. Because what I thought you just said was that you were going to miss your sister’s wedding to go gay camping in the Poconos.”
‘Half sister,’ Paul corrects.
‘I can’t believe this.’ She pinches her eyes shut and wards off the beginnings of a flash migraine.
‘I can’t just drop everything every time Eloise decides to smother us with her own happiness, Alice. I have a life, you know.'”
– The People We Hate at the Wedding, Pg. 7
Why I liked The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
This story about a dysfunctional family was over the top and fabulous. When I put it on my review of the 4 books I wanted to read coming out in June 2017 I knew it was one that I was going to read as soon as possible. I love the idea of a story about a family trying their best and still not always getting along and failing to be the family that they are supposed to be. Honestly I have an imperfect family and even through we are not this dysfunctional, it is comforting to know that we are not the only ones who struggle with misunderstandings and resentment.
I especially enjoyed that this novel touched on sibling relationships and how they can go sideways. I know from experience that your siblings can be your best friends and closest allies and at the same time be your biggest annoyance. The thing about family is that you’re stuck together. Sometimes family is all you have. That doesn’t mean that everything they do is what you want them to do. Nor does it mean that your relationship will always be easy and functioning. In fact, it often means the opposite because they are the people who will be there when no one else will.
The scenes that resonated the most were when one of the siblings was there for another sibling. The amount of tender care that was shown, even when it was misguided or unwanted reminds me of my siblings. I have a great desire for making sure that I am doing all that I can to help my siblings. I’ve seen it in all of the sibling relationships that I know of. I am fully aware that not all sibling relationships are that cut and dry, but even with distance that impulse is still there.
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