Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Review: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

You know those cute commercials on television, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"? Well, maybe that's true if you don't somehow manage to get yourself into a legally binding contract. You'd think those wedding chapels would know better than to perform ceremonies with inebriated participants. But then we wouldn't have a story...

Peggy Adams is in Las Vegas with her best friend Bex for a bachelorette party. She wakes up in a strange man's room after a night of too-strong margaritas, fully clothed (thank God!) and with no memory of the events of the previous evening. Mortified, she sneaks out without waking him and gets home to New York and her live in boyfriend of seven years, Brock, as quickly as possible. A worrier by nature, she can't help dwelling on what might have happened during the time she can't remember. But she tries not to think about it, it's over and done with, right?

Not quite. Peggy receives a phone call from Luke Sedgwick, who happens to be the sleeping man from the hotel room. Turns out they had impulsively gotten married during their evening together. Whoops. They agree that a swift annulment would be the best solution for both of them.

Luke, along with his ninety-one year old great aunt Abigail, is all that is left of the old Sedgwick family of New Nineveh, Connecticut. They have a crumbling old family mansion, their family name, each other, a cat, and not much else. Luke is trapped trying to juggle the frail family finances and Abigail's failing health. She has absolutely refused to consider selling the house. When she finds out about Luke's marriage, she makes the couple an offer that they can't refuse.

Abigail's offer? Stay married for one year, at the end of that year she will sign the house over to them to do with whatever they wish. With a value of three million dollars, they could split the proceeds of its sale and both have enough money to finance their dreams. Luke could provide health care for Abigail and finance his own poetry writing, Peggy could shore up the faltering New York store that she and Bex have owned for the last decade. A win/win situation for them both.

But the deal requires Peggy to spend her weekends at the Sedgwick house in Connecticut, where she must pretend to really be Luke's wife while mixing with the Sedgwick friends and neighbors. She is as far from an upper-crust Connecticut socialite as it is possible to be and fitting in is not at all easy. Things become even more confusing when she begins to care for her new life, the town, the house, Abigail and especially Luke.

This is an endearing, witty novel whose characters will charm you. I loved the slow development of the relationship between Peggy and Luke and the revealing look at WASPY life the story provides. It is a perfect summer read: fun, with enough drama to make it interesting and even a little mystery thrown in. Though the ending is predictable (what romance ending isn't?), getting there is a treat.

For more information about the author, visit her website and blog.

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is published by 5Spot. ISBN 978-0-446-19797-7

Some other reviews from Blogland:

14 comments:

Nely said...

Love your review. I read this and loved it as well.

♥ Nely

Dar said...

Great review. I loved this book as well. Aunt Abby was one of my favorites.

bermudaonion said...

Your review is fantastic and I agree with it totally.

Jen - devourer of books said...

I love your review! The opening made me want to read what you'd written, even though I've read the book and about a million other reviews today, good job.

LuAnn said...

Gosh, everybody is liking this book. I will definitely have to read it!

Literary Feline said...

It's been fun reading all the reviews of this one today. It sounds like a fun book. I am glad you enjoyed it, Carey!

gaby317 said...

This sounds so fun - I really want to read it!

Miriam Parker said...

Yay for Aunt Abby!!

Marie Burton said...

Good review! very through.
I've linked to you on my review post also.
:)

Marie Burton said...

*very ThOrough

gaby317 said...

Just wanted to share an award

http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/2009/05/sharing-lemonade-award.html

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Cute, cute, cute!

Lisa said...

This sounds really good! I wasn't much interested when I saw the title, but your review paints a much better picture.

Shanyn said...

I won this book from another blog so I am glad you gave it a good review! It did join my huge TBR bookshelf which only gets taken from once in awhile, since library and review books get put first, but at least I know kind of what to expect when I am trying to pick a book to read. It sounds like a good vacation book!

Thank you!!

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.