Review: Seating Arrangements

Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead
Alfred A. Knopf

Winn Van Meter is heading to the island of Waskeke in New England for the wedding of his pregnant eldest daughter, Daphne. In a house overrun by females, Winn struggles with his long-standing crush on Daphne’s seductive bridesmaid, Agatha, and his desire to join an exclusive country club. Meanwhile, younger daughter Livia is desperately clinging to a failed relationship, leaving her vulnerable to the charms of the best man. What unfolds is a commentary on the ideals of marriage and familial obligations.

I enjoyed reading Shipstead’s debut novel and found it to be a great summer read. It was interesting to explore the complicated dynamics of the Van Meter family. As Shipstead demonstrates, having money and social status doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness, and even the most seemingly perfect families have their share of tribulations. I look forward to Shipstead’s next book.


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