LONDON IS THE BEST CITY IN AMERICA by Laura Dave

LONDON IS THE BEST CITY IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A family wedding forces a runaway fiancée to stick her toe back in the dating pool.

In this weightless debut, Emmy Everett emerges from seclusion—three years in Rhode Island working in a tackle shop—to return to Scarsdale for older brother Josh’s wedding to graceful Meryl. But Josh isn’t sure he wants to get married this weekend: He might be in love with Elizabeth, a holistic veterinarian with whom he has a connection (it was “like they were hearing the same song”). Urged on all sides to be supportive of her sibling during his crisis of indecision, Emmy can’t avoid contemplating the vacuum in her own love life. Mind you, that could easily be remedied, since suitors dog her every step. There’s Josh’s best friend, sexy chef Jaime; old local boyfriend Justin, although he now reveals himself to be gay; and above all ex-fiancé Matt, last seen sleeping in a motel room next to the abandoned engagement ring as Emmy slipped out the door with the knowledge that “she was losing him slowly anyway.” Dave milks the reliable wedding scenario set pieces, supplementing them with various comic characters, including Meryl’s birth parents, a pair of sociology professors never previously seen outside the Ozarks, and Emmy’s Jewish mother (“Eat just a little”). The book offers a kind of innocent yet worldly-wise charm via Emmy’s perky running commentary, but for every burst of invention, like the power outage that throws the doomed wedding off course, there’s a heaping portion of familiarity, especially in Matt’s prostration before Emmy (“I still have the engagement ring”) and her inevitable conjoining with an even more over-romanticized prospect.

Empty calories, presented cutely enough.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2006
ISBN: 0-670-03756-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2006




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