Happy Monday, happy new week and happy last week in July. I feel like July has lasted forever (which is no bad thing, it’s been a good month) but I am looking forward to August now. I’m an August baby so will be celebrating my birthday which is exciting. We won’t go into how many birthdays I’ve had, nobody needs to know that haha.
Thank you to @hodderbooks and @grantginder for this copy of The People We Hate at the Wedding in return for an honest review. The People We Hate at the Wedding was published on 7th July 2022 and you can get a copy here.
Paul and Alice’s older sister is getting married and it’s going to be an extravagant affair. The wedding is to be held in London at a fancy country estate. Everything has been planned to perfection. Paul and Alice cannot stand it.
They are not the most functional family. Their mother, Donna is widowed and enjoys the odd joint, regular wine and trash TV. Alice is in her thirties, single, beautiful, smart, in a dead end job and a stereotypical affair with her boss. Paul lives with his more successful and better looking boyfriend who has recently started dropping hints that monogamy isn’t for him. Eloise is Donna’s daughter from her first marriage and has had a very different upbringing to Alice and Paul. She benefited from private schooling, fancy holidays and lots of privilege. Annoyingly, she’s incredibly kind and generous.
As this estranged family come together to celebrate Eloise’s wedding, they all go through the realisation that sometimes we hate the people that we love the most.
General Thoughts 🤔
I enjoyed this book; the story and the characters were entertaining, witty and interesting. The story was very relatable for me. I have a bit of a thing about large gatherings where the expectation is that everyone is going to have the best time, the most fun and love on each other. It always tends to end up feeling a bit disappointing and like forced fun and this story didn’t shy away from that.
There were some really funny parts of the book that had me giggling as I was reading (Paul’s drunken antics especially). There were also some quite sad parts; namely Alice’s heartbreak really seemed to strike a chord with me. I liked the way that the story captured the real parts of a family and a family wedding. It’s not all white votives, big smiles and perfect flower arrangements.
The characters and their stark differences yet commonalities was probably one of the things I liked most about this book. Eloise had a very different lifestyle to Alice and Paul and this caused a huge rift between them. I wondered though, how much of the rift was real as opposed to imagined by Alice and Paul. The three of them were poor at communicating and I think that that was the root of their problem really.
I really liked Donna and I wish she had felt that she had the power to play more of a matriarchal role with her children. She made a huge sacrifice in order to protect her children from the truth which was admirable, though I didn’t agree that she shared this secret with Eloise. By doing so, she put Alice and Paul on the back foot without them even knowing it.
Writing Style ✍️
I really liked the tone of this author. He was able to mix emotional and serious with funny and lighthearted and the blend worked really well. The story was told from multiple POVs which I loved (because I always do). There were so many lines, paragraphs, pages in this book that made me think “ah, he said exactly what so many people are thinking but would never say”. The fact is, family can be hard, especially in life changing situations (like a wedding) and I loved that this author wasn’t afraid to say that whilst making a joke of it at the same time.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was witty, heart warming, funny and well written. I liked that there were some really tender moments between the characters, but also some explosive and angry outbursts. It’s what made the story relatable and I am positive that 99% of people could read this book and pick out at least one thing that has happened in their own family. Great weekend reading.