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The Singles: A Novel Paperback – April 24, 2012
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"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
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.Read more ›
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!
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 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.
New York based casting director Hannah is upset as she hoped her first lover Rob would help her through the weekend of seeing her second lover Tom for the first time since he dumped her. Instead she turns to Vicki as Rob is staying in Austin with his epileptic dog Liz. Bee's divorced with child Uncle Joe knows his sister-in-law Donna does not want him at the wedding; when he sees Rochester based grocery store interior decorator Vicki, he thinks she is the woman he had sex with in Reno; while she carries a guitar case containing her social affective disorder lamp. Widow Nancy sends her son Camden Yards security chief Phil to attend the marriage. The dynamics of the Singles will shake the wedding weekend.
The escapades of the Singles at the wedding reception are fun to follow with an engaging rotating viewpoint. However, the prime ensemble cast is underdeveloped so some of their aberrant behavior like taking a pill from a stranger or jumping the bones of someone you just met is hard to gauge in full context of who they are and prevents readers from caring for the characters. Still the evolution of the Singles over that weekend is an enjoyable character driven tale as each of the quintet begins to move on with their lives.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't make it through the first chapter.... "A math equation left for Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting"? Really? Ugh. High school short story magazine writing. Read morePublished on October 21, 2013 by N. Purcell
Thought it would have been better when I red the reviews. Good filler book. Very bland and didn't hold my interest very much.Published on March 28, 2013 by Ruth J Brenner
Enjoyable and engaging. A well written, humorous and poignant novel about friendship, single life and the search for the one who matters!Published on March 3, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I am bias because I read Meredith Goldstein's blog, but I loved this book. The characters felt like they could be your friends. It was easy to relate to them. Read morePublished on February 24, 2013 by rachael
This book was super slow to begin and when it finally became entertaining it was over with a deflated ending. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Beatrice Gallagher
Would have liked to have had more of an ending for each character; case of having to figure out for yourself how they did end up.Published on January 21, 2013 by Richard Stryminski
"The Singles" was the best bit of summer escapism I've read in years; I literally looked forward to my commute each day so I could keep reading. Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by J. Gorey
I was lucky enough to win this paperback book from a giveaway on Jera's Jamboree. The blurb sounded different and funny so I was looking forward to reading it. Read morePublished on January 7, 2013 by Me, My Books and I
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
Five single people attending a wedding without a plus one, a bride who is quite unhappy with their decision and somehow... Read more