The Singles: A Novel Paperback – Apr 24 2012
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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!
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.
Each single has a back story. Hannah, a New York-based casting director, still pines for the boyfriend who got away. Rob was once close to Hannah, but he now lives in Austin, where he works at the University of Texas library and writes free-lance book reviews. Vicki is chronically depressed and has a tedious but lucrative job in Rochester as an interior designer for a supermarket chain. Phil, who is in his late thirties, is still overly attached to his mother. Joe, Bee's uncle, is divorced, in his forties, and likes to dally with younger women.
"The Singles" has a number of scenes in which Hannah and company drink excessively, pop pills, and use profane language. They make spectacles of themselves, yearn for the unattainable, and fail to take responsibility for their actions. The good-hearted Bee cares about them, but when her wedding day arrives, she will have reason to regret her decision to include them in the festivities.
This is a mildly humorous, but ultimately dispiriting work of fiction about men and women who, like Peter Pan, are emotionally childlike. Goldstein gives each single his or her own chapters during which we learn a bit more about their disappointments, fears, and hopes. The author could have resorted to the cliché of giving these lost souls sudden epiphanies during which they realize the error of their ways and snap out of their doldrums. Instead, to her credit, she shows them blundering again and again. Only gradually do they inch towards a measure of self-awareness that might someday earn them the right to be considered full-fledged adults.