London Is the Best City in America

London Is the Best City in America

4.2 22
by Laura Dave
     
 

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The acclaimed first novel from the author of Eight Hundred Grapes

Emmy Everett is reluctantly heading home to New York for her brother Josh’s wedding. She has spent the last three years in a fishing town in Rhode Island and, having little to show for it, she doesn’t particularly want to answer the questions she is sure to face about

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Overview

The acclaimed first novel from the author of Eight Hundred Grapes

Emmy Everett is reluctantly heading home to New York for her brother Josh’s wedding. She has spent the last three years in a fishing town in Rhode Island and, having little to show for it, she doesn’t particularly want to answer the questions she is sure to face about her (ex)-fiance, her (questionable) career choices, her (unknown) future. But she is still shocked when her typically resolute brother Josh confesses he is having doubts about his imminent marriage – and he asks Emmy the hardest question of all: what do I do now?

With seventy-two hours until the wedding, Emmy embarks with Josh on a road trip to help him find a mystery woman, and to answer some long overdue questions about who he wants to spend his life with. It isn’t only Josh who has some lessons to learn. Along the way, Emmy discovers some undeniable truths about what she wants from her own life; and she begins to realize that perhaps her own happy ending is not as far away as it seems.

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Editorial Reviews

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 fianc 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 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Emmy Everett's life has been on hold since she broke off her engagement and left New York three years ago. The aspiring filmmaker has been selling bait and tackle in a quiet Rhode Island fishing town trying to find the happy ending in her documentary about fishermen's wives. But a weekend back in New York for her brother's wedding jump-starts her life and forces her to face her past, present, and future. During this brief couple of tumultuous days, Emmy finally lets go of the ex-fiance, discovers a new direction in her life, and possibly even finds a great love. Despite the saccharine Hollywood ending-perhaps influenced by films like Sixteen Candles-Dave's first novel is beautifully written in the style of early chick lit, when characters cared more about their personal journeys than their shoe brands. Fans of Melissa Bank and Jennifer Weiner will want to read this one. Recommended for all fiction collections. [Actress Reese Witherspoon has optioned the film rights with Universal Pictures and is slotted for the starring role.-Ed.]-Anika Fajardo, Coll. of St. Catherine Lib., St. Paul Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A family wedding forces a runaway fiancee 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-fiance 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.
From the Publisher
Endearingly quirky . . . [a] charming, offbeat debut . . . that winningly explores the romantic choices we make. (USA Today)

Incredibly deft, utterly satisfying, a triumph of a first novel. (Melissa Bank)

Such a satisfying read . . . The relationships among her cast are complicated, fraught and tender. Her story reads sweet but real. (The Washington Post)

Impossible to put down . . . lyrical, witty and honest. (Jane Magazine)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670037568
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
05/18/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Endearingly quirky . . . [a] charming, offbeat debut . . . that winningly explores the romantic choices we make. (USA Today)

Incredibly deft, utterly satisfying, a triumph of a first novel. (Melissa Bank)

Such a satisfying read . . . The relationships among her cast are complicated, fraught and tender. Her story reads sweet but real. (The Washington Post)

Impossible to put down . . . lyrical, witty and honest. (Jane Magazine)

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