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A Wedding in December PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: A Wedding in December
Author: Anita Shreve
Publisher: Published May 2nd 2006 by Back Bay Books (first published 2005)
ISBN: 9780316154512
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding--a reunion that becomes the occasion of astonishing revelations as the friends collectively recall a long-ago night that indelibly marked each of their lives. Written with the fluent narrative artistry that distinguishes all of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, A Wedding in Decemb At an inn in the Berkshire Mountains, seven former schoolmates gather to celebrate a wedding--a reunion that becomes the occasion of astonishing revelations as the friends collectively recall a long-ago night that indelibly marked each of their lives. Written with the fluent narrative artistry that distinguishes all of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, A Wedding in December acutely probes the mysteries of the human heart and the endless allure of paths not taken.

30 review for A Wedding in December

  1. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Another review. Another very average audio book! Oh well. At least my commute isn't empty, which is the reason I listen to these. I limit myself as I just borrow audio cd's. They are free! This is a story of high school friends re uniting for a marriage of two of them. This couple have a chance at love after it was assumed they'd marry first time around. They didn't, he split up with her and they regretted it their whole lives. It seems this theme runs this way for all the characters - a lot of w Another review. Another very average audio book! Oh well. At least my commute isn't empty, which is the reason I listen to these. I limit myself as I just borrow audio cd's. They are free! This is a story of high school friends re uniting for a marriage of two of them. This couple have a chance at love after it was assumed they'd marry first time around. They didn't, he split up with her and they regretted it their whole lives. It seems this theme runs this way for all the characters - a lot of what ifs. Parallel to this was a story of 911 and a war time disaster told in a fictional novel by one of the characters. Weird. All these characters simply wished for what they could not have, and went about and took it anyway. The moral core of most of the characters was lacking. This was frustrating. Phrases such as 'visceral pain' 'luminous incandescence'. Then they all left without saying goodbye, which is how I felt about the story. Oh well. Onto the next. Which is a Sandra Brown one, hopefully this will give me a shred of satisfaction!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Destinee Sutton

    I've read two Shreve novels now and I think what I've learned from her is this: Before agreeing to marry a man, one should ask him if he's actually deeply in love with someone else. If he's honest he may reveal that he's just marrying you because he thinks it'll never work out with another woman. As Shreve illustrates so well in her novels, it sucks to find out ten or twenty years into a marriage that you were actually the runner-up. I'm pretty tired of books about domestic funk. Why do I keep r I've read two Shreve novels now and I think what I've learned from her is this: Before agreeing to marry a man, one should ask him if he's actually deeply in love with someone else. If he's honest he may reveal that he's just marrying you because he thinks it'll never work out with another woman. As Shreve illustrates so well in her novels, it sucks to find out ten or twenty years into a marriage that you were actually the runner-up. I'm pretty tired of books about domestic funk. Why do I keep reading them? Do I think I'm going to find one that isn't brimming with middle class malaise? (I think I stole the phrase "middle class malaise" from the NYT review of A Wedding.) Still, I'm not gonna lie, I liked this book. I'll probably read another just like it next week. It's like I think if I read enough books about unhappy marriages I'll be able to prevent myself from entering one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    I feel I was let down, in the end, when I found out the last details of some dead high school all-star shortstop who died twenty-seven years ago. But, I don’t feel I was let down by this book, which was entertaining and held my attention. In the end, I was surprised by parts of some of the outcomes which were not as happy or as Christian as they could have been portrayed. At times, I was bothered by the baseball parts which felt as though my mother was describing the terminology. “Hole between s I feel I was let down, in the end, when I found out the last details of some dead high school all-star shortstop who died twenty-seven years ago. But, I don’t feel I was let down by this book, which was entertaining and held my attention. In the end, I was surprised by parts of some of the outcomes which were not as happy or as Christian as they could have been portrayed. At times, I was bothered by the baseball parts which felt as though my mother was describing the terminology. “Hole between second and third.” And, at one point the main character, Harrison, claimed the dead kid would have become the greatest shortstop to ever play Major League Baseball (that made me laugh). During the Novel, characters do some of the writing and those parts don’t do much for me. I did like the story within, written during the events by a schoolteacher, but I didn’t care that much about how that story related to the rest of the book (I guess I might be missing something). The extra story did mean there were a lot of characters to keep track of. A Wedding In December may not be all that memorable compared to most weddings I have been to, but I wanted to know what was going to happen next all the way through. And that means quite a bit, especially when the story included a few (possibly unfair) stereotypes - a gay piano player who won't play wiffle ball for fear of hurting his fingers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marika Gillis

    This novel brings seven former schoolmates together after more than 20 years to attend a wedding at an inn in the Berkshire Mountains. The tight bond held by this group of friends was shattered years earlier when one of their own died unexpectedly. The blossoming relationships and potential of each of these central characters jackknifed with the death of this friend, and the wedding reunion gives the characters an opportunity to seek out a resolution for the paths they did not follow. This is the This novel brings seven former schoolmates together after more than 20 years to attend a wedding at an inn in the Berkshire Mountains. The tight bond held by this group of friends was shattered years earlier when one of their own died unexpectedly. The blossoming relationships and potential of each of these central characters jackknifed with the death of this friend, and the wedding reunion gives the characters an opportunity to seek out a resolution for the paths they did not follow. This is the second book I have read recently in which the others who have read it with me have been dissatisfied. This book was chosen as our December read for my book club. Many, if not all, of the other book club members were turned off by the unhappy marriages and questionable moral behavior that plays out in the novel. (But, then again, this is a church book club!) I, however, was struck by this book. While I did not completely understand the motivation of the characters, I was moved by their strong inner turmoil and their struggles to overcome weakness and temptation. Despite the setting (which is very appealing to the imagination), the book, like the other Anita Shreve novels I have read (The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water), is shrouded in sadness and regret. The characters are consumed with unhappiness and a feeling of general unease. A member of my book club shared that she felt the characters in this novel were underdeveloped. I believe Anita Shreve intentionally writes her characters to be vague. Like real people, they are complicated and troubled. The reader must infer understanding of the characters through their obscure thoughts and behavior. The most interesting part of this novel for me was the story within a story. In the book, the character Agnes, a lonely classmate pining for a former teacher, is writing an historical fiction short story about the Halifax disaster. The explosion that occurred in the city of Halifax in Novia Scotia during the winter of 1917 parallels the tragedy of 9/11 in this book- the characters in the novel are reuniting merely two months after 9/11. The story of Innes and Hazel (as written by Agnes in the novel) is told during and after the Halifax disaster and their relationship mirrors the others in the novel in it's tempting impossibility set against a recent tragedy. Prior to reading this novel, I had never heard of the Halifax explosion and I was saddened to learn of the deaths and injuries that occurred during that significant historical event. This book is not a good one to pick up if you are looking for a lighthearted read. While the novel is easy to follow and won't take long to finish, a melancholy feeling permeates every word and may linger for awhile after you put the book down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jacki

    Well I bought this thinking it would be my tie-breaker for Anita Shreve. I've read two book by her that I enjoyed and two that I flat out hated. I won't be reading Anita Shreve anymore. After the first 100 pages or so, I started just skimming the 'story-within-a-story' parts of the book. For me, this made it much, much better. I didn't really get the point of including this story. The other thing that I hated was the whole, overall message. She should have included one couple who was at least sem Well I bought this thinking it would be my tie-breaker for Anita Shreve. I've read two book by her that I enjoyed and two that I flat out hated. I won't be reading Anita Shreve anymore. After the first 100 pages or so, I started just skimming the 'story-within-a-story' parts of the book. For me, this made it much, much better. I didn't really get the point of including this story. The other thing that I hated was the whole, overall message. She should have included one couple who was at least semi-happy who hadn't gotten where they are through infidelity. I hated how the idea of infidelity was approached with the idea that if you are happier in your affair than your marriage then it's ok. As long as you're 'in love'. Puh-lease. I'm over this book. Yuck.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The basic message of this book is that adultery can be justified, which I firmly disagree. At first I thought this book was ok - it has an interesting plot concept: reunion of a group of friends from high school after 27 years. It also had a story within a story (which the transitions were confusing, but I started looking forward to reading more of the second story) and was an easy read. But by the end (and time I realized the main message), I was disappointed that I wasted my time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    Oh my god, this book was boring and pretentious, for at least the fifty or so pages that I got through, and I almost never put down a book in the middle. I think I've somehow managed to read almost every book by Anita Shreve and I've only liked about half of them, so I believe I give up now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    As with all of her books, the storyline has promise, but falls short (for many reasons). I am not a fan of her abrupt/erratic writing style (she seems to jump from topic to topic with her characters). With this book, I didn't like how she had so many characters that seemed under-developed. The book is about seven former classmates, but there are a few that just seem to be thrown into the storyline. The best part of the book was the mini Halifax story within the story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This book started out with so much possibility. A group of old high school friends gathering for a wedding between two of the friends who had found each other again. It was very interesting to see where each of their lives had taken them. It was interesting to learn of their relationships in high school. There was even a wonderful second story taking place because one of the characters was writing a novel and it was being revealed as she wrote it. However, the book ended UGLY. It revealed some This book started out with so much possibility. A group of old high school friends gathering for a wedding between two of the friends who had found each other again. It was very interesting to see where each of their lives had taken them. It was interesting to learn of their relationships in high school. There was even a wonderful second story taking place because one of the characters was writing a novel and it was being revealed as she wrote it. However, the book ended UGLY. It revealed some really terrible things about most of the people. That in itself would have been okay, but nothing was resolved or no great break throughs were made. In fact several more mistakes were made by the characters that seemed to have no meaning or merit. Both the real book, and the novel being written just stopped. There was no ending to either. The stories just stopped in really bad situations. Worse yet, I didn't want to know what happen to the characters. I didn't want to know them. I was not endeared to them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    This is possibly one of my least favourite of the Anita Shreve novels I have read (there are about 3 I haven't read yet - 1 TBR) I didn't find there was the depth that exists in some of her earlier work, like Fortune's Rocks, or The Weight of Water. The actual story of The wedding - is pretty bland, predictable , and not very compelling, although Anita Shreve's writing is always hugely readable. However within the novel, there is a story within a story, which irritaed me at first but then hooked This is possibly one of my least favourite of the Anita Shreve novels I have read (there are about 3 I haven't read yet - 1 TBR) I didn't find there was the depth that exists in some of her earlier work, like Fortune's Rocks, or The Weight of Water. The actual story of The wedding - is pretty bland, predictable , and not very compelling, although Anita Shreve's writing is always hugely readable. However within the novel, there is a story within a story, which irritaed me at first but then hooked me in a way the main narrative didn't. One of the characters Agnes is writing the story of a terrible disater that took place in Halifax (Canada) during the first world war - and it is this story that is the more compelling of the two. The relationships explored in A wedding in December are done well, and certainly there is a definite feeling of sadness that pervades the whole story - a sadness which seems in keeping with how some of the characters begin to look at their lives, their past and their future. I do generally like Anita Shreve's books, but this was a little disappointing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christine H

    So, I began this book in May just before I went to grad school and was actually intrigued by the plot synopsis. I found the first few pages dry, but I knew better than to give up on a book before the quarter marker. When I picked it up again this month, I re-read the few pages I had already read and continued for another 20 or so more, but I just couldn't get hooked into it anymore. I thought the narrative was needing spice in numerous areas and even the foundation of the plot began to seem unap So, I began this book in May just before I went to grad school and was actually intrigued by the plot synopsis. I found the first few pages dry, but I knew better than to give up on a book before the quarter marker. When I picked it up again this month, I re-read the few pages I had already read and continued for another 20 or so more, but I just couldn't get hooked into it anymore. I thought the narrative was needing spice in numerous areas and even the foundation of the plot began to seem unappealing to me. I can't say that my worldview has changed over six months, but the idea of people leaving their spouses for the "real" loves of their lives just couldn't settle in my tummy. While romantic, in theory, the potentially catastrophic repercussions for all involved are just not my thing. I'll give LIGHT ON SNOW a try in the near future. I've heard such great things about Shreve that I'd hate to give up after just one try.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was annoyed with this book practically from the first few pages. I could not relate to any of the characters for whatever reason. Maybe it was the repetition behind each character’s selfish thought process which made the reasoning for their actions seem overdone and invalid. There were some promising moments, but overall I was disappointed. For example, what was the deal with nearly every character being an adulterer? I look forward to reading the author’s more highly recommended works and hop I was annoyed with this book practically from the first few pages. I could not relate to any of the characters for whatever reason. Maybe it was the repetition behind each character’s selfish thought process which made the reasoning for their actions seem overdone and invalid. There were some promising moments, but overall I was disappointed. For example, what was the deal with nearly every character being an adulterer? I look forward to reading the author’s more highly recommended works and hope for something better next time. It’s pretty lame that the big secret to the entire mystery of the story lies behind this alcoholic teenager who died because he soiled himself and drowned cleaning himself off in the ocean. Very lame. I would not recommend this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    One of my favorite movies is The Big Chill about a group of friends who get together for the funeral of one of the group. A Wedding in December has all of the same ingredients needed for a weekend reunion of friends from their youth; plenty of drama, secrets revealed, handsome, champion baseball players, beach scenes, memories of favorite teachers and of course romance. Having read way too many mystery novels recently, it was nice to read a story about people, their friendships, their flaws and One of my favorite movies is The Big Chill about a group of friends who get together for the funeral of one of the group. A Wedding in December has all of the same ingredients needed for a weekend reunion of friends from their youth; plenty of drama, secrets revealed, handsome, champion baseball players, beach scenes, memories of favorite teachers and of course romance. Having read way too many mystery novels recently, it was nice to read a story about people, their friendships, their flaws and their aspirations. This is what Anita Shreve excels at, the drama of interpersonal relationships. Now I hope she does a movie script for The Wedding in December.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christina Kirby

    Obviously, I went through an Anita Shreve phase. This was one of those books that was hard to get into and hard to finish. I actually quit reading it for a while, read a few other books, and came back to it when I had nothing else to read. I guess it was just boring...nothing really happens to any of the characters, they rarely leave the house where the wedding is taking place, and most of the book is spent reminiscing uninteresting memories from the characters' high school/college days. Skip th Obviously, I went through an Anita Shreve phase. This was one of those books that was hard to get into and hard to finish. I actually quit reading it for a while, read a few other books, and came back to it when I had nothing else to read. I guess it was just boring...nothing really happens to any of the characters, they rarely leave the house where the wedding is taking place, and most of the book is spent reminiscing uninteresting memories from the characters' high school/college days. Skip this one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Rietz

    This was my first Anita Shreve book. It was enjoyable, but disappointed where it ended. It was almost as if there was to be a continuation. The one female character who was having an affair with an old teacher, her story seemed abruptly cut off. Why was she having trouble w/ her vision? I almost feel I need to read this again in case I missed something the first time around. I never felt there was enough back ground to each character.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This wasn’t bad. It is a story of a small reunion of highschool friends. One of the girls, Bridget and one of the guys, Bill are getting married at the Inn owned by one of their friends. This is definitely similar to “The Big Chill”. I liked that about it. The Inn is in the Berkshires. There are, of course, demons that are hidden in the back of each of the friends mind. Specifically, the death of their friend, Stephen who drowned in the ocean when they were seniors. The truth comes out in the st This wasn’t bad. It is a story of a small reunion of highschool friends. One of the girls, Bridget and one of the guys, Bill are getting married at the Inn owned by one of their friends. This is definitely similar to “The Big Chill”. I liked that about it. The Inn is in the Berkshires. There are, of course, demons that are hidden in the back of each of the friends mind. Specifically, the death of their friend, Stephen who drowned in the ocean when they were seniors. The truth comes out in the story. Stephen was an alcoholic already and had soiled himself at the party thrown the night of his death. He went to wash himself in the ocean and fell in and drowned. Harrison, his roommate, always felt responsible. Especially since he was in love with Nora, Stephen’s girlfriend. Stephen caught them kissing the night he died. Agnes, another friend, has a secret as well. She teaches at the school they graduated from and has been having an affair with one of their teachers for years. He is married. She is also writing a book about the Halifax explosion. That story is woven into this one. The book could have done without this, although it was interesting. I never heard about the Halifax explosion but it was mentioned in “Until I Find You”. And finally, Bridget has breast cancer. Her and Bill, highschool sweethearts, reunited at their highschool reunion. He left his wife and daughter to marry her. I liked this better reading it the second time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Célia Loureiro

    É um livro lento, com pouca acção. A autora é sempre uma mestra nas descrições das relações humanas, e não estava a dormir quando escreveu este "Casamento em Dezembro". Eu quase adormeci ao longo das páginas, porque me pareceu demasiado nostálgico, pensei que não fosse a lugar algum. E então, de repente, conforme me estendia à beira da piscina num festival de verão com ele aberto, aconteceu: a revelação, o inesperado, a qualidade inegável da autora. E não vou revelar o que sucede que me fez chor É um livro lento, com pouca acção. A autora é sempre uma mestra nas descrições das relações humanas, e não estava a dormir quando escreveu este "Casamento em Dezembro". Eu quase adormeci ao longo das páginas, porque me pareceu demasiado nostálgico, pensei que não fosse a lugar algum. E então, de repente, conforme me estendia à beira da piscina num festival de verão com ele aberto, aconteceu: a revelação, o inesperado, a qualidade inegável da autora. E não vou revelar o que sucede que me fez chorar à frente dos meus amigos, numa situação jamais esperada. Foi a escritora a falar da vida, da ilusão de que o passado está enterrado e que tudo está bem ou vai, simplesmente, acabar bem. É por isso que a adoro e que amei o livro. ___________ It's a slow book, with little action. Shreve is always a master when it comes to describe human relationships, and she wasn't asleep when she wrote this 'A wedding in December'. I almost slept through the book pages, because it seemed so nostalgic that I thought it wouldn't go anywhere. And then, suddenly, as I layed by the pool in a summer festival with it, it hit me: the revelation, the unexpected, the undeniable quality of the author. And I won't reveal what happens that made me cry in front of all my friends, in the most unexpected situation. It was Shreve speaking to me about life, about the ilusion that the past is buried and everything is fine or will simply end up right. That's why I love her and I loved the book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I didn't like Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve. So I've not really sought out her others. But, when you are on the road travelling and you need a new book because you've exhausted the three you brought with you, you'll pretty much take anything that isn't utter crap. Boy, was I suprised. It was AWESOME! One of the best books I have read in a really really long time. I savored every word. I loved every word. Enjoy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I did not really care about the characters. It was a straight character study about people who really bored me to death. We compared it to the big chill (that was more entertaining) The book ends kind of like it started it just was and it was nothing I wanted to read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    B the BookAddict

    I first read this novel in 2005 and rated it a 4★. Reading it again in 2013, I have had to adjust my rating to 3★. Maybe the reader in me has grown up a little...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Shreve is a good go to author for me when I need a good entertaining story. This one was not quite as "topical" as some of hers yet no less enjoyable. This is the story of a group of friends who knew each other when young at the same boarding school. Skip ahead 20 plus years as they reunite for a wedding of one of their group. We learn where they have been, what they have done and who they have become. We discover that many of them still have the same bond, and some of them continue to carry se Shreve is a good go to author for me when I need a good entertaining story. This one was not quite as "topical" as some of hers yet no less enjoyable. This is the story of a group of friends who knew each other when young at the same boarding school. Skip ahead 20 plus years as they reunite for a wedding of one of their group. We learn where they have been, what they have done and who they have become. We discover that many of them still have the same bond, and some of them continue to carry secrets and regrets. As they reconnect over a few short days we discover who they each are, and what regrets they carry. Good characters, some warm, likable and funny. Others rather shallow and not so likable. The reconnection part of the story, relating the past to the present worked for me. The one negative which kept this from getting a higher rating was the switch over to a whole different story, one which one of the characters was writing. I found this distracting and it took away from the flow for me. Still a solid 3.5 stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Everyone loves to imagine reuniting with our first love, reliving the unique connections we had with those friends that played such an integral part in the formation of who we became...I had such high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, it played out in a painfully slow and monotonous way and that slow build unfortunately didn't pay off when the drama finally ensued at the end. The culmination of it all felt empty and devoid of any real meaning or closure.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Metcalf

    3.5 stars - Decades have passed since this collection of high school friends have gathered together.  Now in their early to mid forties they are meeting to celebrate a wedding.  It's a second marriage for the bride and groom but they had been high school sweethearts and so they settle upon an intimate wedding shared with the five friends who knew them best when they were young lovers.    Although it was essentially a weekend spent together to celebrate this marriage it could really be considered 3.5 stars - Decades have passed since this collection of high school friends have gathered together.  Now in their early to mid forties they are meeting to celebrate a wedding.  It's a second marriage for the bride and groom but they had been high school sweethearts and so they settle upon an intimate wedding shared with the five friends who knew them best when they were young lovers.    Although it was essentially a weekend spent together to celebrate this marriage it could really be considered a reunion.     The story focussed more heavily on four of the friends and to a lesser extent on the others.    The book left a number of unanswered questions about some of the characters but whether by design or not, this worked for me.  Having recently attended a school reunion I came away with dozens of unanswered questions about my friends lives.  There's only so much one can cover in a weekend after decades apart.   Much like these characters I found I vividly remembered things I hadn't thought of in the longest time; I noticed that some of my friends were exactly the same whereas others had changed significantly and there were conversations that should have taken place long ago.  In the novel there was a major issue that had been left unaddressed and festering since the group had last been together   Nora had wondered whether the reunion was a mistake, likening it to taking a stick and poking it into a clear pond and watching the mud eddying up into the water.    As the weekend progressed and the alcohol flowed tongues loosened (as did morals).     One of the things I've noticed about Anita Shreve's novels is the prevalence of infidelity and this one was no exception.  (view spoiler)[ Nora had told Harrison earlier in the weekend that telling the truth was erotic, and in this case the large dose of truth that flowed between them worked in exactly that way (hide spoiler)] .  As always I found myself totally invested in the story and the characters it delivered.   In this case I even enjoyed the story within the story.   Agnes, another of the main characters was penning a novel and though I initially found it distracting I could see how it worked, especially the way it contained a number of parallels to the main story.    Overall this was a most enjoyable read and another tick for Anita Shreve.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marigold

    I've read quite a few of Shreve's books & they're a guilty pleasure - she's not the greatest writer in the world, but she tells an interesting story, usually with some historical background, & they're often a quick read. I liked this one less than some of her others, but give it four stars on the strength of the story-within-story - a technique that I always LOVE! The main story is about a group of old high school friends who reunite over 20 years later, for the wedding of the separated- I've read quite a few of Shreve's books & they're a guilty pleasure - she's not the greatest writer in the world, but she tells an interesting story, usually with some historical background, & they're often a quick read. I liked this one less than some of her others, but give it four stars on the strength of the story-within-story - a technique that I always LOVE! The main story is about a group of old high school friends who reunite over 20 years later, for the wedding of the separated-but-now-reunited sweethearts. There's a quasi-mystery about the death of one of their group, which is probably the most interesting part of the modern-day story. Other than that I didn't much care for, or about, any of the modern-day characters. The story-within-story is about the explosion of the munitions ship Mont Blanc in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917, & how it affected a young doctor & the family he'd been staying with. I didn't realize this had actually happened, so on finding the story so interesting I looked up more details. The explosion was the largest human-created explosion that had ever taken place in the world, & held that record until the first nuclear bomb test explosions in 1945. Everything within a mile of the Halifax blast site was obliterated. 325 acres of the town were destroyed. The explosion took place in a harbor & caused a tsunami that resulted in additional deaths besides those caused directly by the blast. Some victims were carried miles from where they'd been at the time. Many people had gone to the windows to look at the ship on fire in the harbor, & there were a huge amount of injuries as a result of people being hit, often in the eyes, by flying glass. 2,000 people were killed. Shreve ties the historical Halifax story to the "modern-day" story which takes place not long after 9/11/2001, but 9/11 is just background. It might have been more interesting, if harrowing, if Shreve had written parallel stories of people whose lives really were affected by each of these events. Still, it's a good book, well written, & worth spending the time particularly for the Halifax story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I think I picked the wrong Anita Shreve novel as my introduction to this often-acclaimed author. A Wedding in December is a reunion story, think "The Big Chill" set in a country inn 27 years after a high school graduation. Its ensemble format consists of multiple story lines, unresolved grudges, marital infidelities, yuppie angst and even an “off camera” dead guy. (Oh, and also a novel within a novel, sigh.) Agonizingly slow, with lots of conversations on paths to nowhere, I found myself mentall I think I picked the wrong Anita Shreve novel as my introduction to this often-acclaimed author. A Wedding in December is a reunion story, think "The Big Chill" set in a country inn 27 years after a high school graduation. Its ensemble format consists of multiple story lines, unresolved grudges, marital infidelities, yuppie angst and even an “off camera” dead guy. (Oh, and also a novel within a novel, sigh.) Agonizingly slow, with lots of conversations on paths to nowhere, I found myself mentally screaming at the characters to move the story forward. And, small thing, but there are at least a half dozen uses of the word “finger” as a verb.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Florence

    Anita Shreve is a great storyteller, especially when her milieu is the past. In this novel, the focus is on a group of middle aged friends who have not seen each other since they were classmates at a boarding school in Maine. There are lots of secrets to share, as well as a wedding to celebrate. One of the former classmates is creating her own fiction, a story within the story, which highlights the Halifax explosion of 1917 a disaster which occurred when two ships in the harbor, laden with warti Anita Shreve is a great storyteller, especially when her milieu is the past. In this novel, the focus is on a group of middle aged friends who have not seen each other since they were classmates at a boarding school in Maine. There are lots of secrets to share, as well as a wedding to celebrate. One of the former classmates is creating her own fiction, a story within the story, which highlights the Halifax explosion of 1917 a disaster which occurred when two ships in the harbor, laden with wartime explosives caught fire.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    A Wedding in December is a pretty simple book about seven former classmates who reunite for a wedding. Each person has his/her own storyline and there is the group storyline of the wedding/reunion. My takeaway is confirmation that we are a composite of the choices we make and the chances we take throughout our lives. One slight deviation from our decisions and our lives could be very different.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine Lipman

    I really enjoyed this novel. The notion of reunions is always scary and the relationships rediscovered didn't disappoint. The subplot novel, written by Agnes was also interesting and parallels the main plot. It is a novel about unfolding relationships. So if you are looking for an action thriller this is not the book for you.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    won this book from www.listia.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Allen Grace

    ”The things that don’t happen to us that we’ll never know didn’t happen to us. The nonstories.” Anita Shreve, the author of the critically acclaimed novel, A Wedding in December, which garnered a massive buzz from thousands of readers across the globe, some raised one comical eyebrow as if to lay a question not too profound however, dismissively and some went to such great lengths, loathing this novel as if it has never been a work of literature. But guess what, it was included in the selectio ”The things that don’t happen to us that we’ll never know didn’t happen to us. The nonstories.” Anita Shreve, the author of the critically acclaimed novel, A Wedding in December, which garnered a massive buzz from thousands of readers across the globe, some raised one comical eyebrow as if to lay a question not too profound however, dismissively and some went to such great lengths, loathing this novel as if it has never been a work of literature. But guess what, it was included in the selection of Oprah’s Book Club, I think two novels of Anita Shreve were handpicked and were enlisted in the said selection. Damn right. At first I had doubts swirling in my befuddled brain but my curiosity won over my doubtful mind. It’s a heartbreaking story in which I was not prepared for the emotional turmoil it had put me through. I wanted to reach something, anything beyond my grasp. It’s a wonderful story about seven people (Nora, Harrison, Bill, Bridget, Jerry, Rob, & Agnes) who were once friends during their teenage years spent in the Kidd Academy, now twenty-seven years had passed in a purple haze, their lives have been placed in a pedestal which led them to different road paths with different choices, one must have felt like an intruder, an emotional terrorist, the other one a loner, as they stood to each other at arm’s length, eyeing each other up from head to toe with absolute scrutiny however fate had another thing in stored for them which none of them have immediately recovered as the secrets begun to unfold one after the other. The story encompasses of unrequited love, deception, second chances and forgiveness. I liked Harrison’s enormous patience when it comes to love although he was already married to Evelyn, he thought that the love he felt for her was enough but his other half was still longing for something else; perhaps his heart was still waiting for someone he desired long before he knew he was in love. But my heart went out to Bill and Bridget the entire time. “I didn’t have you for so long, and now I might lose you.” – Bill I was riding in the bus en route to my province when I decided to read a few pages but as I pore over the lines I got engrossed and next thing you know I cannot stop. I cannot put it down. A series of queries has started to pique my interest, I felt the tension welling inside me and for a few maddening seconds I was momentarily nonplussed. Oh, don’t you just hate cliffhangers? The ending was left unresolved which my imagination found it difficult to process. I wanted to say a lot of things, for the mixed emotions inside my chest that wanted to get out but I decided to be adamant about it. For the first time in months I felt shattered, bereft of words. I prided myself with one bottle of San Mig Apple after, relishing the taste that rolls off my tongue while I think of those characters in the book as if they are real. I have an odd feeling about reunions. The feeling of anxiety, the utter anticipation of nonstories nearly kills me like a thousand daggers hightailing me, aiming towards my chest and the cold, clammy skin, the fast beating of my heart as if it would come out inside my pectorals, all of these things will be manifested and consumed in every part and parcel of my being and next thing you know it would be my turn to speak the untold story, unleashing my premeditated thoughts, giving away myself to a couple of strangers whom I called friends before. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t do well with surprises much less show up to this reunion of sorts they orchestrated. I would want to come with a relish if my close friends, really, really close friends will be there but I have lost my contacts of most of them but as what other peeps said there are a thousand ways to reach them, to bring my friends back if this is what I wanted in the first place, otherwise I should be creative. Let me tell you a story about my friends on how we had clung to each other for dear life. People come and go. They get replaced. I have met a bunch of freaks, fought a couple of bitches, and encountered empowered and liberal women in their utmost stylish, good-looking self; that I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-what-you-think-of-me certitude, in my twenty years of existence I have never felt so enthusiastic and a bit proud of myself and I am looking forward to know more of them. I’ve had my fair share of freaks, you know. Well, at first I didn’t have the faintest idea that these people had similar interests with mine nor the fact that we have the same ideas, opinions and X-rated imagination running through our mind like a series of explicit scenes flowing like so much water. We enjoyed each other’s company, sure, even if we differ from each other like how the blazing sun differs from the shaft of moonlight at night, like how the sun never misses the moon but it is just there and you will never be mistaken. A friend is someone whom you could share your deepest, darkest and worst-kept secrets with. A friend is someone whom you could run on to in case everything had gone ballistic and momentarily fucked up you needed a shoulder to cry on, perhaps, just warmth of a living soul is enough. A friend is someone you could call as your confidante, a nonjudgmental freak, a good listener and someone who would give even the worst advices in this monotonous world but, hey, even his or her witty banter might caught you off guard in a second or two and you would end up rolling onto the floor while laughing so hard, and the next minute you’re catching your breath like you have been kicked in the solar plexus or you could have pissed on your pants from laughing maniacally. Having true friends by your side is the best experience one could ever have and having each other is the closest thing that, you and I, will ever have. Xx Now Playing: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

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