My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received Grant Ginder’s The People We Hate at the Wedding through Goodreads.com. I expected a funny novel about siblings enduring the people they hate at their half-sister’s wedding. Instead, the bulk of the novel took place during the two months leading up to the wedding and explored the experiences that led to the animosity between the family members. Seen from the viewpoints of the mother, Donna, the bride, Eloise (Donna’s daughter from her first marriage), Paul and Alice (Donna’s children from her second marriage), with a couple of chapters seen through the eyes of Eloise’s groom, Oliver, and Paul’s boyfriend, Mark.
As an exploration of how events and experiences skew people’s perceptions of events and relationships, The People We Hate at the Wedding succeeds tremendously. However as “shamelessly funny” as one blurb put it – not so much. There were some funny moments but there were also a few moments I think were supposed to be funny (i.e. Alice’s hotel room binge; the three-way) that made me uncomfortable.
I like reading about strong people. Strong people are easier to root for, I suppose. However, the characters in The People We Hate at the Wedding are weak people pretending to be stronger than they are and all too humanly flawed. Oddly enough, though, the characters that seemed strong were also the least likable. So I may have learned plenty about human nature but I didn’t always enjoy myself.