Books: You’re Invited to a Wild Wedding

By Dawn Raffel

You can’t help but  love a novel that starts with a wedding invitation. Yona Zeldis McDonough’s A Wedding in Great Neck opens by requesting the honor of our presence at a tony to-do on Swan’s Grove Road in Great Neck, New York.  On the very next page, the mother-of-the-bride’s dog is barking wildly, and a madcap all-day drama begins to unfold throughout the grounds of the mansion where the nuptials are to take place.

Weddings (and funerals) bring out  both the best and the worst in people, and the soon-to-be-joined families play out their rivalries, jealousies, fears, and desires in spectacular fashion—complete with flagrant cheating and an over-the-top plot to sabotage the entire ceremony. And yet there are better impulses at work here, too, and a smart, if directionally-challenged, granny on the side of the angels—or, if you will, the bride, Angelica.

This page-turner is at once a very funny comedy of manners (complete with a rogue party planner named Pippa…hmmmm) and a testament to the power of love.  It’s as extravagantly delicious as the lime mousse, petit fours, sugar cookies, and handmade chocolates to be served with the cake inside the fairy tale tent.