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The Singles: A Novel [Paperback]

Meredith Goldstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 24 2012

Take an instantly recognizable social dilemma—attending a wedding alone—add a good laugh (and maybe a cry), and meet The Singles, the warm and witty debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein.

Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a guest to her lavish, Chesapeake Bay nuptials. When Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy one by one decline Bee’s generous offer, the frustrated bride dubs them the “Singles,” adrift on her seating chart as well as in life.

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Review

“Anyone who's ever attended a wedding solo, will feel an immediate kinship with the five, wonderfully complicated characters of The Singles. Meredith Goldstein's witty prose follows these guests as they gather to celebrate, reunite with friends, drink too much, dance inappropriately, worry about their careers, struggle with jealousy, and negotiate family dynamics. This book is full of dark humor and heart, and you won't want to put it down.” -Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses


"For anyone who has found herself hitting a wedding solo, Meredith Goldstein's The Singles is a charming debut novel--and a thoroughly enjoyable plus one." -Laura Dave, author of The First Husband and The Divorce Party


“Realistic and romantic by turns, The Singles totally captures the alienated feeling you get when you're stuck at a wedding without a date--and the accompanying hope that maybe you'll meet someone special there. This novel is a sheer delight.” -Claire LaZebnik, author of Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts


"This smart, witty debut takes the original approach of turning the spotlight on five people who attend a wedding alone. As it turns out, these vivid, endearing characters have the very best stories to tell." -Sarah Pekkanen, author of These Girls


“A relatable tale with good momentum . . . [R]eaders won't regret accepting Goldstein's invitation to mingle with these singles." -Publishers Weekly


“Charming . . . Funny and sad with easily identifiable characters.” -Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed this lighthearted tale of singles converging at a mutual friend's wedding. Having been in this position more than once during my lifetime, I could relate to how difficult the position can be. In the promotional material received with this novel, The Singles was likened to the movie Bridesmaids, but I couldn't see that much of a connection really. It wasn't nearly as funny, so I might have been a bit disappointed in that respect after reading this comparison. Overall, though, I really liked all the complicated and confused characters but unfortunately I felt we didn't get to see enough of them.

I really wished this novel was longer. It took over 100 pages to be introduced to each character as it was told from their individual perspectives and much of that was back story about how they all met or knew each other or grew apart before they actually arrived at the wedding. I knew as soon as I hit this point that The Singles would be too short as there were only 140 pages left for something monumental to actually happen. Because there were so many people and so few pages devoted to each that I didn't feel like the novel captured enough of each character and I found myself wanting more from each of them. I wanted to get to know them better and see more interactions and events to occur between them than actually did.

I loved that the singles were a variety of ages which gave different perspectives and stories. The characters weren't caricatures either. They were each unique with unusual, quirky issues and interactions and I liked how the wedding gave them all perspective about their lives and the impetus to move on or in a new direction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read May 2 2012
By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Singles. They are at every wedding. Where do you seat them? Where will they fit in? Will they cause a scene? These are the questions that plague Bee Evans just days before her country club nuptials. She invited all of her single guests to bring a date but an unfortunate few declined to do so, leaving Bee frantic as to where to put her "singles" on the seating chart and wondering why they couldn't just have the courtesy to bring someone with them!

The Singles by Meredith Goldstein tells the stories of these singles. The first chapter is from the point of view of the frantic bride-to-be, Bee, and the remaining chapters are told from the point of view of her single guests. These guests include one of her bridesmaids, unable to get over her ex, an unreliable old friend from college, a man whom she has never met before whose mother happens to be a friend of her new mother-in-law, and her Uncle Joe. Although their stories rarely intersect, they do weave together here and there as each story comes to a conclusion.

The Singles is going to be a popular beach book! It's light reading at its finest. The story is enjoyable and fast-paced, the characters are people that you really want to know more about, and the book is very well-written. Had I not had to, you know, eat and sleep, I would have read this one through from start to finish without taking a break. There was something compelling about each individual character and I loved the fact that the characters really didn't intersect all that much. They did come together, and artfully so, but I was able to enjoy each story individually as well as a whole.

My only complaint would be that the book was too short.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for More! Aug. 10 2012
By BJS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Singles is an entertaining look into the lives of what I like to call "the forgotten guests" - the single attendees of a wedding! Following the stories of multiple characters, and seeing how their lives inevitable intertwine, provides readers with a hopeful - and blunt - examination of family, friendships and love.

I gave The Singles 4 out of 5 stars only because upon finishing the book, I was left wanting more. I was eager to find out how things turned out in the lives of the characters I'd just grown to know. However, true to her realistic and unique voice, Goldstein refrains from tying up the lives of her characters in a perfect bow. Their future is left to the reader's imagination...or hopefully a second book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining! Sept. 17 2012
By Jacqueline A. Macdonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fun book with great characters. I read it in a day but wanted the story to go on. P.S. Love Meredith's column too!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read, great characters Aug. 1 2012
By Worldtrekker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Singles is the incredibly well-written debut novel by Meredith Goldstein. This is not just a story about a wedding. It's more than just chick lit.

The Singles is an absorbing tale with characters that draw you in to a weekend of adventure, vulnerability, and learning. Whether you're single, or in a relationship, this book is a must-read that will leave you wanting more.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre July 2 2012
By Lilja - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm sure one star will seem like a harsh judgement, but I can't find anything remarkable about this book. It's clear that the author aims at realism but relies too much on stereotypes from movies and similar novels. The premise is taken from "Bridesmaids" (the bride has a new bff who's a control freak and is helping with the wedding; clumsy old bff is jealous). The characters are too flat - we are supposed to care about them and their neuroses, but it never happened to me. The novel is also supposed to be "witty", but not one line or scene made me smile. Are we supposed to laugh at the protagonist taking pills and behaving oddly? It's been made so many times. Or at the maid of honour being a control freak? Or at the Sex and the City references? I'm seriously wondering.
A very mediocre novel which fails both at being touching and funny. (By the way, the author submitted her work to Stephenie Meyer, which could explain a lot.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Singles Nov. 2 2012
By Heather Piper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Way over the top with the drama of each character. Then came to a complete stop as if someone put the emergency brake on the train. Do not pay full price for this book.
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