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London Is the Best City in America Hardcover – May 18, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (May 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670037567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670037568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,639,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Dave's winning debut, narrator Emmy Everett is a sensitive and introspective young woman who is emotionally and geographically paralyzed. Ever since ditching her sleeping fiancé in a Rhode Island motel, Emmy has lived in the quiet fishing village of Naragansett, working at a bait shop and putting together an interminable documentary on fishermen's wives. Three years pass, and her beloved big brother, Josh—funny, smart and successful—is getting married, forcing Emmy out of her self-imposed exile for a weekend in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale. With 72 hours to the wedding, Emmy finds Josh confused: does he want to marry Meryl, or be with Elizabeth, the woman he's been seeing on the side? Emmy agrees to join Josh on the eve of the wedding for a daylong trip to find Elizabeth and, hopefully, what "the right thing to do" really is. The intriguing Elizabeth, as well as the authenticity of the relationship between Emmy and Josh, make the conflict credible and involving. It's hard not to root for these vivid characters; even the heroine's high school flame, Josh's best friend Jaime Daniel Berringer, is distinctive and likable, making Emmy's interest in him contagious. Josh and Emmy's happy, exasperating parents and Josh's buoyant sister in-law-to-be round out the cast, giving readers plenty of reasons to enjoy this promising new author. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Dave's absorbing, piercing debut takes place over a weekend. Emmy Everett, who has been living in Rhode Island and working at a tackle shop since leaving her fiance three years earlier, reluctantly returns to Scarsdale, New York, for the wedding of her older brother, Josh, to his longtime girlfriend, Meryl. Emmy is shocked when Josh tells her he's been seeing another woman, Elizabeth, on the side. Elizabeth, a thirtysomething single mother with a teenage daughter, is nothing like the polished, sophisticated Meryl, but when Emmy meets her and her daughter, Grace, she realizes nothing is as clear-cut as it seems. Josh's struggle over what he wants gives Emmy insight into her own inertia and her failed relationship with Matt, whom Emmy finds she is not quite over. So much happens in Dave's wonderfully plotted first novel that it's hard to believe the events all occur in the space of a few days. Dave expertly captures the ennui and indecision many twenty- and thirtysomethings grapple with when faced with big, life-changing decisions. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Laura Dave is the author of London is the Best City in America, The Divorce Party, and The First Husband. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Self, NPR's All Things Considered, The Huffington Post, and Redbook. She lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Great read, Dave's a great story teller.
Laddy
What it is is a quaint story about love, life, loss and how the choices we make effect us and those around us.
DevJohn01
I'd definitely recommend it, and I'll look forward to more from Dave in the future!
Cassie W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on June 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
London is the kind of book you read because the author is just that good. At its most basic form, the storyline is not terribly innovative, overall - girl is in love with boy, girl leaves boy behind, girl is faced to revisit and analyze her decision some years later in order to grow beyond where and what she is. An earlier customer review stated "the book's message seems to be: you've got to make choices, and they must be realistic...what a surprise." The unexpected part of all this, though, is that the author has taken a template of so many relationships, so many lives, and crafted a way to tell you a story that you very well may already know - and yet don't want to miss a word. She talks to you, in a friend's voice, inviting you to participate in the journeys of these characters to which she has gifted life.

Put simply, you will *feel* when you read this. It's the kind of stuff that makes you smile and smirk and cry - sometimes really cry - and close your eyes after passages. The type of prose that you want to re-read out loud to someone else, sort of like sharing song lyrics that resonate. The type that's both personal and communal. Soon after I started, I found that I could only comfortably read it at home because I couldn't be honest enough anywhere else to really experience it the way that I unconsciously, unwillingly, inevitably did, every time.

Ms. Dave's art puts the reader in a place of self-reflection - striking a most impressive balance of suspending one's own reality while simultaneously discovering it. She has the ability to accurately detail the unspoken, unchartered territory of one's heart and give the reader an experience that is unexpected but hoped for all the while.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Julia on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I received my copy on Saturday and spent the whole weekend reading it- I couldn't put it down. London is the Best City in America is funny and so smart. I really connected to the main character Emmy and didn't want the story to end. I found out about Laura Dave after reading about her in a magazine- I'm so glad I found her and can't wait for her second book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. VINE VOICE on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering the fact that this book has been in Amazon's "bargain bin" for a while, and that I only found the synopsis mildly intriguing, I was SHOCKED to find that this is one of the best novels I have read in a very long time!

No question about it, what makes this book so great are the characters - the story is technically rather slow-moving, and not terribly complex, taking place over one weekend. However, you will never notice or care about the pace of the plot because you will be so enthralled with the characters. Even the less likeable ones are still loveable and humorous in their own way. Every character in the novel is presented as a very "whole" human, with flaws and talents, reasons to love them and reasons to hate them; it is this completeness that endears them to you so much. You find yourself struggling along with the main character, constantly wishing for opposing outcomes to the story, because you want everyone to end up happy. The authenticity of the relationships and personalities in this novel are what make it shine. Nothing else needs to be said, you must see for yourself - do not miss out on reading this great novel!

Grade: A
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W. Pellegrino on May 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dave's book is funny, and real, and sad in the best ways imaginable -- you will feel for this family of characters, appreciate your mom, be reminded of all the hard questions about life and love, and wish, more than anything, for your own happy ending. A+ !!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Will Nathan on June 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My girlfriend passed me this book after she stayed up into the morning reading it. It appeared to be targeted at women, but I loved it and raced thru it almost as quickly as my girlfriend had. This author is fully committed to her voice in a way that I haven't read in a while. Reading her is a kind of cozy, old-times feeling like hanging out with your high school best friend many years later.

The story is actually more about the narrator's brother than the narrator herself -- a welcome surprise for this male reader. But a welcome surprise also because this isn't some kind of story about a woman so self-involved that she can't see the world around her. Emmy, the narrator, adores her brother and, only through her very genuine but complicated love of her brother, does she begin to see her own issues.

Also, the writing is incredibly funny. Highly recommended for men and women.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chutz on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Laura Dave is an extremely talented author! She has this ability to touch her readers through her beautifully written story. This is by far the best written story I have read in a very long time. As the previous reviewer mentioned earlier, although the story is not altogether original, Ms. Dave conveyed a very touching and personal story that made me reflect on my own life and journey. The reader must be prepared to laugh and cry. A definite must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Han on June 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is sweet and funny and a little bit heartbreaking. It's the kind of book that makes you remember. If you liked Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer, or Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank, I think you'll really enjoy this little ruby of first novel. Treat yourself to a tall gin and tonic and this book, on a hammock.
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