Cover Image: Big Gay Wedding

Big Gay Wedding

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this eArc in exchange for my honest review. I found this to be much more heartfelt and complex than the standard rom-com I was expecting. It was a pleasant surprise!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.

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I LOVED Byron’s first book, and this one if very different from it. So if you are expecting A Star Is Bored, you might be disappointed. This is still witty and heart felt, just not what I was expecting.

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“Barnett isn’t asking you to put an ad in the paper for gay rights. Or host a big gay wedding. He’s just asking you to love him and be interested in his life and the person he loves. …”

“Is it crazy that we can live with the mystery of God? Or the mystery of WiFi or something? But the first time we don’t understand another human being, the mystery of another human being, it’s just too much to overcome?”

“Every night I slept in this room as a kid, I would fall asleep thinking about how I’d have a lonely life. How, because I was different, I’d never be able to love or get married. And now. God. Look at you. Look at us.”

When Barnett Durang, Chrissy’s prodigal son, comes to Louisiana to visit, Chrissy is positive he’s come home to stay. Her long-held dream of him taking over the family farm is finally coming true, and she couldn’t be happier! That is, until she discovers the real reason he’s returned: He’s getting married to his fiancé, Ezra, and they’d love to have their wedding on her farm.

Can Chrissy come to terms with her dashed dreams, overcome her own biases, and accept her son and the man he loves for who they are?

This book touched every feeling in my big mama heart. It made me angry; it made me cry. It made me really think about unconditional love, my role as a mother, and how important it is to accept everyone for who they are. It made me tear up, thinking about my own boys and how quickly they are growing up. It made me laugh, reminded me of what is most important, and filled my heart with pride.

Byron, thank you for this heartwarming, vulnerable, and powerful book, and thank you to @henryholtbooks and @netgalley for my gifted ARC! Just as it was my absolute honor and pleasure to read your husband @mrstevenrowley ‘s book, The Celebrants, this Pride month, it was also an honor and privilege to read your gem, Big Gay Wedding. How wonderful that two incredible writers could both share a pub day, as well as a life together 🥹

You both bring so much light and joy to this world, and I can’t wait to read more from both of you! Cheers and kisses!! 🥂😘

This book hit shelves May 30, so what are you waiting for?!? 😍

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This book is marketed as "uplifting" and "hilarious," and even has a cute name. But I didn't really find it either -- I found it very moving, and much more complex, than I thought. I thought this was going to be a rom-com.

A homophobic mother (and father) are present, and the homophobic mother's POV is used a lot. The lovable Paw-Paw is in a nursing home and, in one tear-jerking scene for me, talks about how they all gather to watch the belongings of the most recently deceased burned. Animals die.

I don't think tackling these heavy topics are a bad thing. In fact, I think Lane does an excellent job in covering various points of views and experiences. His writing can easily bend between serious and comedic, tender and harsh. It's just I didn't expect to see them in a book called 'Big Gay Wedding.'

On the romantic side, Barnett and Ezra's relationship is wonderfully depicted. Both have their flaws and their strengths, and I liked that there was some (understandable) friction with how out-and-proud to be, given the location and family history.

In sum, I would recommend the book to someone looking for a satisfying story with some complex characters, but with a warning that if you're in the mood for a fluffy feel-good-throughout story, this one might be a little heavier than you want.

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Big Gay Wedding by Byron Lane is a quick and heart warming read following a wedding in a small town. The story was expected but delightful and the perfect book to pick up when you need a light read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC! Big Gay Wedding is out now!

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REVIEW- BIG GAY WEDDING by Byron Lane
Format: Digital & Audio
Length: 336p/10h30m
Publisher: Henry Holt Books/ Macmillan Audio
Rating- 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
Available NOW!

💙Thanks to @byronlanedotcom , @henryholtbooks , and @netgalley for the review copy. These thoughts are my own. When I heard that @noahegalvin was the narrator I HAD to have the audio as well so I was first in line on my @libby.app and did an immersive read.

🍷This was one of the most enjoyable and heartwarming books I’ve read in a long while. Byron Lane is from Louisiana so he really *gets* the mindset of the people who live here (not all, of course, it’s just the Deep South of it all).

⚜️Barnett is returning home to small town Louisiana. But this time he’s returning home with his roommate… who is really his fiancé, Ezra. They’re headed home to break the news to Barnett’s mom, Chrissy. Chrissy has been ignoring the fact that Barnett has had a male roommate for the better part of a decade with no girlfriends. She chooses to believe he is going to come home to stay and help with the farm. She’s excited because that’s what she thinks Barnett is going to tell her on this trip home. Chaos ensues. Chrissy instead offers to host a Big Gay Wedding right there at the farm. This should all be fine, right??

🐑 These characters will stay with me for a long time but is it weird to say I was most affected by a sheep?? Oh, Elaine.

📺Also, my GenX heart adored all the farm animals being named for all my favorite 70s and 80s sitcom characters.

📻Noah Galvin WAS Barnett. I had to double check that he really wasn’t from South Louisiana (nope, Westchester). But hometown boy Byron really nailed it when he picked Noah.

Read if you liked:
🤵🏻‍♂️Red, White, & Royal Blue
🐓Schitt’s Creek
🍹The Guncle

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I am giving this book three stars because, while I love Byron Lane’s writing style, I was totally unprepared for such an emotional read, and I just could not enjoy reading it at all.

I absolutely adored Byron Lane’s previous novel, A Star is Bored, so I was over the moon that I had an opportunity to review his newest book, Big Gay Wedding. My expectations were that this would be a hilarious, over-the-top rom-com where queer folks sprinkle glitter on grumpy small town bigots and everyone would end up with a fabulous happy ending. This was… not…

I will usually say that I have no triggers when it comes to reading, but the small number of topics that do sadden me are all present in this book. To be perfectly honest, I am currently in a season of life where I am a new Empty Nester with aging parents and dogs, so I would never willingly subject myself to an entire novel that deals with long-distance children, and end-of-life discussions about parents and beloved pets. I really wish the book had come with some content warnings so that I could have guarded my heart before I became invested in the characters.

Yes, there is a big, gay wedding, but the grooms are sweet men who are astonished that they found a soulmate in each other, and the book centers more on Chrissy, Barnett’s mom, and not on dramatic, and hilarious wedding planning exploits. Chrissy’s inner monologue was very difficult to read since she is grieving both the death of her husband and her disappointment that her only child chose to live his life half a country away from their small Louisiana farm. I did not realize that there would be so many mentions of animal deaths, which would have discouraged me from picking up the book in the first place no matter how much I love the author.

In the end, I found myself skipping pages to finish the book before I cried myself to sleep. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in a few years once so many of my triggering topics are a little less raw.

Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was my first book by Byron Lane and it was exactly as promised: big and gay. Love. It was very heavy on homophobia and religious trauma as well as animal death (the setting is on a farm). I felt it was a little TOO heavy. It was sweet and charming. It was a little TOO sweet and charming. Overall I am not sure how I feel about it, but I did binge listen to it and really can’t complain about it.

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Barnett has returned home to his mother’s farm in rural Louisana to announce that he’s getting married – to another man. Needless to say, introducing Ezra to his mom does not go down smoothly.

Byron Lane delivers a FANTASTIC novel filled with family drama, growth, acceptance, and a BIG GAY WEDDING. I think this is my favorite wedding novel of all time.

It’s over the top exactly where it needs to be and its heartwarming in the best way possible. Also I cried over a sheep. I adored Barnett and Ezra’s families and especially their relationship. This one is a total must-read!

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I had such high hopes for this book. A big gay wedding on a farm in a small southern town with the promise of a fun romp of a read. Unfortunately, this book fell flat to me in a lot of ways. First off, the pacing was really off, I felt like the first 150 pages held no real plot and the final 20 pages felt like a hollow attempt to have the reader finish the book in tears for the sake of tears. The characters were also really one-dimensional and it read less like a purposeful satire of stereotypes are more like a lack of interest in writing a fleshed out cast of characters. But this was a quick read and I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more from this author in the future!

*thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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What a perfect summer read! I laughed, I cried, I loved it so much. It was more heartfelt that I anticipated, and I do not usually like my heart to be warm, but with Barnett I couldn't help it. I will highly recommend this book over and over!

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I am up and down on this review. There are some genuinely sweet, funny, amazing elements to this story. There is also some uncomfortable homophobic moments that are heartbreaking. Overall though, it’s an honest story about parents expectations for their children and the children’s own visions of what happiness means to them for their future- and what happens when those clash. A good story with moments of greatness.
**Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this story.**

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A mother must reconcile with her nonacceptance of her son's homosexuality on the eve of his upcoming nuptials. This book ranges from sickly sweet to painfully earnest to slapstick comedy and is begging to be made into a Hallmark style movie. It can seem a bit dated - like it would have been timely during the run of the tv series Glee. My reading appetite requires more nuance and depth, so I have rated it rounded up to a generous three stars. Please note that I received a copy of this title via NetGalley.

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Honestly, I expected a little more from this. It started off promising, but I ended up with very mixed feelings. I enjoyed the writing style, and I often found the book funny, but I expected more from the storyline between Barnett and his mother. The book focuses mainly on the mother, but I felt like her journey from being homophobic and denying her son is gay to full and complete acceptance was really rushed. She just suddenly changed her tune completely, which made the emotional pay-off feel lacking.

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Story about a young man, Barnett, coming back home to tell his mom he was getting married to his boyfriend that his mom believed was his roommate. Chrissy was against her son being gay and quickly had to wrap her mind that he was getting married in a week!! The first part of the book was a bit eye opening. Chrissy was manipulative, offensive, demeaning and a horrible person. Reading her side was like someone throwing muddy poo water at me. It was distasteful. I know that was the point to have a mother disliking her son's sexuality, but it was over the top. I was promised a comedy. Argh, where was the funny bits?! I actually was not laughing. Instead I felt sad for him. His fiancé was great though. He was kind and sweet to Chrissy. His family was also wonderful and quirky. The second part of the book was actually good though had sad moments. The wedding was beautiful but the characters around it were going through their own issues. Mother and son had great moments of love and reconciliation. A few deaths of animals. So any animal lover out there, you will need tissues. No, really the last few pages was the death of a pet animal. I don't understand why it was needed. Overall, it was a good story of family, hope, love and support. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my ARC.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt Co. for the eARC! Oh, Barnett. Oh, Byron Lane. This book was like watching the final season of Schitt’s Creek while drinking a warm cup of coffee curled up on the couch. What a moving, touching, laugh out loud funny story. I cried, I laughed so hard I cried. I loved all of the characters and the Louisiana setting. Green vibes for sure. 😉
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟 4.5 stars!

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Such a funny and sweet story about acceptance and love. Told through everyone's perspective, I loved the insight and banter between characters. Laughed and cried and loved it.

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To know Byron is to love him and the same goes for his story telling. Big Gay Wedding is filled to the brim with humor and wit all the while being sentimental and thought provoking. Can't wait for more from this great author!

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Big Gay Wedding was then perfect mix of poignant and hilarious. When Chrissy hears her son, Barnett, is coming back to their Louisiana farm, she assumes he is planning on leaving his LA life behind to come take over the farm. Instead, Barnett tells her he is engaged (to a man!) and wants to get married at the farm. Chrissy must reconcile her Catholic faith and her grief that her son is gay with her love for her son and not wanting to lose him. Not only does Barnett come to the farm but so does his New Yorker fiancé, Ezra, and, soon after their engagement, Ezra’s parents. With their own quirky personalities, hilarity is bound to ensue. The book made me laugh but it also made me hide from my children and cry (especially the last chapter!).

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