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The Singles

The Singles

4.0 7
by Meredith Goldstein

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Take an instantly recognizable social dilemma—attending a wedding alone—add a good laugh (and maybe a cry), and meet The Singles, the warm and witty debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein.

Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a


Take an instantly recognizable social dilemma—attending a wedding alone—add a good laugh (and maybe a cry), and meet The Singles, the warm and witty debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein.

Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a guest to her lavish, Chesapeake Bay nuptials. When Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy one by one decline Bee’s generous offer, the frustrated bride dubs them the “Singles,” adrift on her seating chart as well as in life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Goldstein chronicles the wedding of lawyer Bee Evans and Matt Fee from the viewpoints of five protagonists—dubbed “The Singles” by Bee—who each decline to bring a guest to the nuptials. The book starts out as the stale story of college friends shakily navigating adulthood—frequent flashbacks from the day of the wedding reveal trite plot points, like bridesmaid Hannah Martin’s clandestine hookup with Syracuse University buddy (and fellow Single) Rob Nutley, who proves himself a flake when he doesn’t show up at the wedding, leaving Hannah to face her old flame, Tom Keating, without the welcome distraction of Rob. Vicki Clifford, another college pal, lends Hannah support despite needing some herself.The plot picks up substantially once noncollege folks enter the mix. Forty-something Joe Evans, Bee’s uncle, is attracted to the much younger Vicki and spends the reception with her imagining a different outcome than she does. These additions transform what could have easily remained a generic slog through old friends’ unresolved love lives into a relatable tale with good momentum. Despite a few tired chick lit tropes, readers won’t regret accepting Goldstein’s invitation to mingle with these Singles. Agent: Katherine Flynn, Kneerim & Williams Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Anyone who's ever attended a wedding solo, will feel an immediate kinship with the five, wonderfully complicated characters of The Singles. Meredith Goldstein's witty prose follows these guests as they gather to celebrate, reunite with friends, drink too much, dance inappropriately, worry about their careers, struggle with jealousy, and negotiate family dynamics. This book is full of dark humor and heart, and you won't want to put it down.” -Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses

"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

Library Journal
The bride and groom are not the focus of this wedding novel, in which five single guests complicate the seating chart. The bride, Beth "Bee" Evans, asks her invitees to bring a partner, but these five attend on their own. Three of these singles—Hannah, Vicki, and Rob—went to college with Bee. Hannah is apprehensive about seeing her college sweetheart for the first time since he left her, while Rob, who has to follow the wedding via phone calls while caring for his sick dog, won't admit his feelings for Hannah. Vicki, meanwhile, is suffering from depression and travels to the wedding with a seasonal affective disorder light. The bride's uncle is also flying solo, although he makes every attempt to pick up a younger copilot. The fifth single, Phil, wasn't even invited; he's filling in for his mother, a friend of the groom's parents, who has taken ill and has been keeping a secret from her son. This wedding is transformative—especially for those who've chosen to decline their plus one. VERDICT This will interest fans of wedding fiction and chick lit and will have local appeal in Boston, as Goldstein is the author of the Boston Globe's "Love Letters" column.—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
Five unmarried guests manage to come together—and fall apart—during an upscale wedding at a Maryland country club. Unconvinced that there is any upside to being a bridesmaid, New York City casting director Hannah nonetheless feels a sense of obligation when her dear college friend Bee requests her services. Aside from the bother of having to buy a special halter bra for the occasion, singleton Hannah is anxious about seeing her ex Tom, who will be there with his new girlfriend, a guidance counselor named Jaime. Staying with Hannah is another college friend, Vicki, a creative type with a dull corporate job in Rochester. She also has a mild case of depression that she combats with a special sunlamp she carries around in a guitar case. Vickie and Hannah's Texas friend Rob, alas, is a last-minute no show for the wedding, although his presence is missed. A laid-back underachiever with a tendency to disappoint people, Rob carries a torch for Hannah, although his only commitment is to his dog Liz, a rescue mutt with epilepsy. Through texts, he gets a play-by-play of the event, while struggling with his own mixed feelings—and a sudden emergency. To calm her pre-wedding jitters, Hannah mixes a couple of mystery pills (offered by the controlling matron-of-honor, Dawn) with alcohol, and proceeds to make a fool of herself during the inevitable confrontation with Tom, who remembers the end of their relationship far differently than she does. Inebriated as she is, Hannah catches the eye of Phil, a strapping young man who is only attending as a favor for his sick mother. And Vicki bonds with Bee's uncle Joe, a successful, divorced businessman from Las Vegas with a thing for wistful young brunettes. Funny and sad with easily identifiable characters, Boston Globe advice columnist Goldstein's debut makes the most of some very familiar scenarios. Charming wedding farce with a bit of depth.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Charming . . . Funny and sad with easily identifiable characters.” -Kirkus Reviews

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The Singles: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was actually pretty cute. It was a quick read but the ending wasn't very fulfilling
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is laugh out loud funny!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sadly, this book was disjointed and I couldn't get behind any of the characters. Okay, maybe the guy who didn't attend the wedding, but it made me wonder WHY they were even following him at all until the end. And Vicki?? Really, completely unrelateable. As one who has been a single at plenty of weddings, I don't recall ever behaving in such a disgraceful fashion as they do in this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore "Love Letters" in the Boston Globe, I hope this was an appetizer to more entrees!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Five single people attending a wedding without a plus one, a bride who is quite unhappy with their decision and somehow all of the singles are separated like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon! How can you not fall in love with this book? There are five people who decided against bringing a plus one even though the bride insisted - this book is about their stories, why they are single and why they decided not to bring someone to the wedding. Each character has a few chapters each in their own voice to help bring the reader from the bachelorette party to the invitations to the wedding while giving enough of a back story for the reader to appreciate why they were invited to the wedding. The connections between the characters is what made this story even bigger and better than the synopsis could make it out to be. As I plan my wedding, I loved reading about how guests may be linked to each other in more ways than one. It made me rethink how all of my guests may know each other besides knowing me or my fiance.