Thursday, October 27, 2005

CW November Pick: A Wedding in December

People have mixed feelings about reunions. Some people avoid them like the plague. Others see them as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends. This spring, I went back to New York City to celebrate my ten-year anniversary from grad school. I have never gone to any other reunions because I never felt any sort of bond with the schools I went to but this was different. Columbia University’s journalism program is so rigorous that it fundamentally changes the way you do your craft and how you see the world. My fellow classmates and I see ourselves as war buddies. For the most part, we keep in touch mostly because we genuinely like one another. But partly, I suspect because we don’t quite think anyone else could fully understand the life changing experiences we went through.

Anita Shreve’s newest book, “A Wedding in December”, delves right through the heart of that territory. It’s the story of a close-knit group of students who attended Maine’s Kidd Academy. The group comes back together twenty-five years after their graduation to celebrate the wedding of two high school sweethearts. Each one of the characters brings with them some unresolved issues to the weekend, including how they dealt with the death of one of their beloved friends. Like any experience that forges one character, they realize that there has been some growth and some gaps between where they thought they would be and where they actually are. Tensions build as the group gets snowed in, and someone gets drunk enough to say what everyone's been thinking. Over the weekend, each one of them has an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives based on their youthful dreams and goals. Shreve is brilliant at creating stories rich with memorable characters. This book really pulls back the veil of people who, on the surface, look like they have everything one could ever want. In the end, you feel like you’ve taken a journey with all of them. Not just in time but directly to their heart.

We will be talking directly with Anita Shreve by telephone about her newest book and her brilliant writing career on Friday, November 11th at 7PM at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark Mall. We’ll also be raffling a signed copy of one of her books. Please join us and don’t forget to RSVP at

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