A Wedding in December

Version: Unabridged
Author: Anita Shreve
Narrator: Linda Emond
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Time Warner AudioBooks
Published In: October 2005
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

Massachusetts, seven former schoolmates gather for a wedding. Nora, the owner of the inn, has recently had to reinvent her life following the death of her husband. Avery, who still hears echoes from a horrific event at Kidd Academy twenty-six years ago, has made a life for himself in Toronto with his wife and two sons. Agnes, now a history teacher at Kidd is a still-single woman who longs to tell a secret she cannot reveal to the others, a secret that would stun them all. Bridget, the mother of a 15-year-old boy, has agreed to marry Bill, an old high school lover whom she has recently re-met, despite uncertainties about her health and future. Indeed, it is Bill who passionately wants this wedding and who has brought everyone together for an astonishing weekend of revelation and recrimination, forgiveness and redemption. This is Anita Shreve's most ambitious and moving novel to date, probing into human motivation with the grace and skill that have made her -one of the finest novelists of her time. (Boston Herald).

Reviews (19)

Good Story about Friendships

Written by Anonymous from Franconia, NH on July 20th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Good story about friendships and how we all grow and change. A lot of heart in this story. Lots of feeling.

Good, but sad story

Written by Angelika Teal on March 18th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I enjoyed the book, especially the writing style. Being a fan of the author, I don't expect her stories to be happy, but this book really made me feel very blue. It was vague and open-ended (that is why I only gave it three stars) and I took me a while to understand the concept of the story within a story. I sure am happy that I never attended any school re-unions after reading this book, they must fill you with a lot of disappointments.

Haughty

Written by Anonymous from Suwanee, GA on September 19th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I'm not sure if Shreve is trying to impress me with her vocabulary or what. She seems to being trying too hard to tell the story without a narrator through the use of Agenes' characters, Harrison's letter, and the like. The conversations these people have are stilted and unrealistic. The understory being written by Agnes is a distraction. The letter Harrison writes to his wife is just as ridiculous. They all come off as haughty, pretentious wannabes. I found myself listening for the overblown, stiff dialogue just to get a laugh. The reader's voice didn't help - she's just as stiff and stilted as the characters are. Ick.

A Wedding in December

Written by Linda on May 30th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Boring...sooooo slow and enough descriptive phrases to put you to sleep!! Very disappointed overall and the ending just leaves you hanging. Don't waste your time.

It's ok

Written by Pamela Pitcher on April 30th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Great character development, but I was left feeling a little empty at the end.

A wedding in December

Written by Diane Needleman on April 27th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I enjoyed listening to this book and the reading. I would recommend this selection to anyone who enjoys listening to a delightful story.

A Wedding in December

Written by Anonymous on January 29th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Good character development. Other than that, nothing special. An okay read to pass the time.....

a wedding in december

Written by Anonymous on January 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I've liked most of anita shreve's books. This would be the exception. Boring. Skip this one.

A Wedding in December

Written by Paula Gutierrez from Winchester, VA on October 19th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was an interesting story with a unique situation. I can visualize it happening, and I like the understory being written by one of the characters throughout the book.

A Wedding in December

Written by K. Kinate on August 30th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Not one of her better books. I had to force myself to finish it.

Author Details

Author Details

Shreve, Anita

For many readers, the appeal of Anita Shreve’s novels is their ability to combine all of the escapist elements of a good beach read with the kind of thoughtful complexity not generally associated with romantic fiction. Shreve’s books are loaded with enough adultery, eroticism, and passion to make anyone keep flipping the pages, but the writer whom People magazine once dubbed a “master storyteller” is also concerned with the complexities of her characters’ motivations, relationships, and lives.

Shreve’s novels draw on her diverse experiences as a teacher and journalist: she began writing fiction while teaching high school, and was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975 for her story, “Past the Island, Drifting.” She then spent several years working as a journalist in Africa, and later returned to the States to raise her children. In the 1980s, she wrote about women’s issues, which resulted in two nonfiction books -- Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone -- before breaking into mainstream fiction with Eden Close in 1989.

This interest in women’s lives -- their struggles and success, families and friendships -- informs all of Shreve’s fiction. The combination of her journalist’s eye for detail and her literary ear for the telling turn of phrase mean that Shreve can spin a story that is dense, atmospheric, and believable. Shreve incorporates the pull of the sea -- the inexorable tides, the unpredictable surf -- into her characters’ lives the way Willa Cather worked the beauty and wildness of the Midwestern plains into her fiction. In Fortune’s Rocks and The Weight of Water, the sea becomes a character itself, evocative and ultimately consuming. In Sea Glass, Shreve takes the metaphor as far as she can, where characters are tested again and again, only to emerge stronger by surviving the ravages of life.

A domestic sensualist, Shreve makes use of the emblems of household life to a high degree, letting a home tell its stories just as much as its inhabitants do, and even recycling the same house through different books and periods of time, giving it a sort of palimpsest effect, in which old stories burn through the newer ones, creating a historical montage. "A house with any kind of age will have dozens of stories to tell," she says. "I suppose if a novelist could live long enough, one could base an entire oeuvre on the lives that weave in and out of an antique house."

Shreve’s work is sometimes categorized as “women’s fiction,” because of her focus on women’s sensibilties and plights. But her evocative and precise language and imagery take her beyond category fiction, and moderate the vein of sentimentality which threads through her books. Moreover, her kaleidoscopic view of history, her iron grip on the details and detritus of 19th-century life (which she sometimes intersperses with a 20th-century story), and her uncanny ability to replicate 19th-century dialogue without sounding fusty or fussy, make for novels that that are always absorbing and often riveting. If she has a flaw, it is that her imagery is sometimes too cinematic, but one can hardly fault her for that: after all, the call of Hollywood is surely as strong as the call of the sea for a writer as talented as Shreve.