The Wedding People: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Wedding People: A Novel By Alison Espach Cover Image
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A propulsive and uncommonly wise novel about one unexpected wedding guest and the surprising people who help her start anew.

It’s a beautiful day in Newport, Rhode Island, when Phoebe Stone arrives at the grand Cornwall Inn wearing a green dress and gold heels, not a bag in sight, alone. She's immediately mistaken by everyone in the lobby for one of the wedding people, but she’s actually the only guest at the Cornwall who isn’t here for the big event. Phoebe is here because she’s dreamed of coming for years—she hoped to shuck oysters and take sunset sails with her husband, only now she’s here without him, at rock bottom, and determined to have one last decadent splurge on herself. Meanwhile, the bride has accounted for every detail and every possible disaster the weekend might yield except for, well, Phoebe and Phoebe's plan—which makes it that much more surprising when the two women can’t stop confiding in each other.

In turns absurdly funny and devastatingly tender, Alison Espach’s The Wedding People is ultimately an incredibly nuanced and resonant look at the winding paths we can take to places we never imagined—and the chance encounters it sometimes takes to reroute us.

About the Author

Alison Espach is the author of the novels The Adults, a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Barnes & Noble Discover pick, and Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, which was named a best book of 2022 by the Chicago Tribune and NPR. Her short stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, Vogue, Outside, Joyland, and other places. She is a professor of creative writing at Providence College in Rhode Island.

Praise For…

The #1 Indie Next Pick for August 2024
Named a Best Book of Summer 2024 by People Magazine, Bustle, Star Tribune, Goodreads, and LitHub

“A collision of diametrically opposed life events and general drama, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Maggie Shipstead’s Seating Arrangements. . . . Espach has an eye for the full gamut of emotions that go hand in hand with lifelong commitment, from humor to self-involvement to pathos.”
—Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times Book Review

“A feel-good testament to the life-altering magic of chance meetings.”

“Full of witty dialogue and lovably imperfect characters you’ll root for till the end.”
Real Simple

“Filled with hilarious scenes and brilliant banter.”
—Marion Winik, Newsday

“By deftly invoking many popular romantic comedy tropes, Espach fills this novel with champagne-tinged fizz, while never losing sight of the more sober emotional truths that kicked off her narrative.”

“This engaging rom-com is an entertaining reminder that change isn’t always negative – and often is necessary.”
—Connie Ogle and Carole E. Barrowman, Star Tribune

“Think: Eleanor Oliphant and Meredith, Alone vibes. As of this writing, The Wedding People is my favorite book of 2024.”
—Isabelle Eyman, Camille Styles

“Witty dialogue is just a bonus in this engrossing read centering on complex women making life-changing decisions. Recommend to readers who enjoy Sally Rooney, Curtis Sittenfeld, or Elizabeth Berg.”
Library Journal (starred review)

The Wedding People is so much more than a funny story (though it is very funny). Espach has penned a keenly observed novel about depression, love, the ways women make themselves small, and how one woman got over it. Fully realized and completely memorable.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Sparkling . . . Readers are in for a treat.”
Publishers Weekly

The Wedding People is a wickedly funny and deeply satisfying novel about a woman with nothing to lose, armed with a green dress, some chocolate wine, and a coconut pillow, cut loose to cause delightful mayhem. It’s a story of lovers who turn into strangers, strangers who turn into friends, and the weird and wonderful connections that make us feel truly alive. I loved it.”
Jenny Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Pineapple Street

The Wedding People is my very favorite kind of novel—hilarious and witty with enormous heart and characters I fell in love with. I was delighted to be at this wedding, in the middle of the drama and gossip, watching the entanglements of friendships old and new. I haven’t stopped talking about this book since I finished it, and I won’t stop until I’ve made everyone I know read it . . . so read it! Now! You can thank me later.”
—Jennifer Close, bestselling author of Marrying the Ketchups

“Alison Espach! How does she do it? I mean, really—how? The Wedding People is so utterly, ringingly true it feels less like fiction than like a field guide to personhood. It's so funny and romantic that I sometimes laughed out loud and sometimes got actual goosebumps. I tore through it like I didn't have a disordered deficit of attention. It's a perfect novel. I loved it.”
—Catherine Newman, author of Sandwich

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250899576
ISBN-10: 1250899575
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: July 30th, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English