Cover Image: The Wedding People

The Wedding People

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Member Reviews

This deeply moving novel shines a light on mental health and our ability to consciously choose the life we want.

Despite this novel’s heavy themes, the character development is excellent. Our MC Pheobe starts off in a very dark place after miscarriage, divorce, and other tragedies. Her world begins to expand when she stays at the Cornwall Inn and gets roped into joining a wedding party. Set in historic Newport, Rhode Island, The Wedding People is a beautiful story of being who you truly are after heartbreak. Pheobe and others rebuild their worlds through self discovery, honesty, and authenticity.

All of the wedding guests are three dimensional. Espach has a gift for writing dialogue! I laughed out loud at points, and came close to tears at others. Lila is both so frustrating are so lovable! It’s incredible how connected I felt to the characters by the end. This is an enjoyable, heartfelt read that sticks with you. I 100% recommend!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co for this advanced copy.

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Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The cover is gorgeous tho.

Thank you Netgalley for the arc.

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Lila has planned every detail of her perfect wedding weekend at the beautiful Cornwall Inn in Newport RI except for one: the arrival of Phoebe, the only non wedding guest staying at the inn. Phoebe has always dreamed of the perfect vacation at the inn with her husband but he has left her and she arrives in her best dress and shiny gold heels, planning one last night of luxury before committing suicide. When the women meet in the elevator, Lila is horrified to discover Phoebe's plan which will ruin her perfect wedding.

As back stories are revealed, absurd humor alternates with sadness and both women find the strength to forge new, independent plans for their lives. This is the perfect beach read.

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Alison Espach is funny, and she creates vivid characters who feel like your friends. This novel was great - it's a bit devastating but then brings you back in for all of the heart. This novel is all about finding your community, find people who you can spill all of your guts to and then they'll do it right back.

Phoebe jumped off the page - she's gone to this fancy hotel in order to commit suicide after her husband had an affair and seemingly started a new family without her. Turns out, she's the only hotel guest not part of this huge wedding party. Phoebe runs into the bride and because she's not part of the bride's inner circle, the two become very close and the bride uses Phoebe to unload all of her own insecurities and drama. As Phoebe starts to feel more and more needed, she comes to terms with what her life is now and even though it's nothing like she imagined, she can still find joy and happiness in this new stage of her life.

I won't forget the way this book made me feel - it's bordering on the light and fluffy side of contemporary fiction though it does have some very serious and gut-wrenching topics. But it's generally very hopeful and affirming, and it seems to be focused on finding your people and starting fresh if need be.

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Phoebe Stone has dreamt of visiting the Cornwall, a beautiful hotel in Newport, with her husband for years, so when he leaves her for her best friend and her life falls apart, she decides to get the nicest room there for one last splurge for herself. However, when she arrives, the rest of the hotel is filled with a wedding party and a bride, Lila, who has planned the wedding to the last detail, well for everything except the suicidal guest who could ruin her wedding. Lila and Phoebe quickly become confidants and Phoebe becomes part of the wedding party and once immersed in the wedding and the guests, she finds a new path for her life that she never imagined when she checked into the Cornwall.

I could not put this book down or stop talking about it. While a slightly dark and quirky premise, it was such a nice surprise to enjoy this one as much as I did. The characters were driving this novel and it had so much humor throughout that I was disappointed when the wedding party ended and I had to shut the book. This is my first by the author but I will definitely be going to the backlist! I can’t wait until this one comes out and I can tell all my friends to read it.

4.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt for the ARC

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Thank you to Henry Holt and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an e-arc of The Wedding People by Alison Espach.
I did not know much about this novel before requesting it as a read now. But I am sure happy that I took the leap. This will surely be one of my favorite books this year.

Dealing quite bluntly with themes such as infertility, infidelity and suicide, it may not appeal on its face to the average reader seeing “Wedding” in the title and expecting a rom-com. But I would argue that these are just a small part of this rather complex, wonderful story filled with chance meetings, friendship and overwhelming hope.

Phoebe Snow is a relatable, sympathetic character who grabbed me from page one. I was rooting for her through the entire book. The juxtaposition of the after affects of her failed marriage to the wedding at the center of the action is quite something. Ditto the relationship building between Phoebe, and the young bride, Lila. Initially Lila’s self-centeredness got under my skin, but I’ll admit that Espach’s ability to tease out a character was crucial to the believability of the friendship growth between these two. The eccentric cast of family and friends rounds out the story in such a refreshing way, that I found the book hard to put down in a way most serious novels do not. There are many laugh out loud moments amidst the serious ones, and a satisfying conclusion for all involved. No, it is not the fairy tale ending one might expect of a story with a wedding at the heart, but a more realistic outcome for Phoebe and crew. I wholeheartedly hope that readers will see past the initial low moments and r.s.v.p. yes to this wise and beautifully written novel. 5/5 star read

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Oh this book is laugh out loud hilarious but also so tender and inspiring. We meet Phoebe at a low point in her life but she decides to take control and change things. What starts as a wedding Crasher in an innocent way ends in new friends and hilarious antics.

This is a must read!! It’s so refreshing to have a story that is so real in the way life can hand you lemons and you get to decide what to do.

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I loved this book! I thought the relationship between Lyla and Phoebe was well done and so interesting. The ending was great and really satisfying too.

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At times, humor can be hard to write and to do well--this book does it so well. It is funny, but it is also lovely and wonderful. It can be a real feat to laugh and feel for the characters. I really enjoyed this.

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Many thanks to @henryholtbooks, @macmillanusa, and @netgalley for my #gifted (free) copy. Pub date 7/30/24.

This novel is about a woman who is ready to give up. When I first started reading, I thought this was going to be so depressing, but it was actually very heartfelt and quirky with a good message. I think fans of ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman are going to love this one.

Phoebe's life is not going so great, so she books a suite at a luxurious inn. Phoebe quickly realizes when she gets to the inn that she is the only person there who is not a guest of the wedding. The bride spots Phoebe and wants to know why she is there because she booked the whole inn for her wedding. Phoebe tells her she is there to end her life, but the bride will not have her ruining her wedding.

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The Wedding People has many life lessons that are important. I found the book to be predictable, but I still enjoyed the story and following Phoebe’s journey. Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book publishes on July 30, 2024.

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I literally laughed out loud for so much of this book. it was so much fun! The Wedding People is Alison Espach's latest novel and it will bring you so much happiness. Phoebe sets out to a fancy hotel in her best dress ready to kill herself. Instead she meets the bride in an elevator and finds herself one of the "wedding people" who have rented the hotel for the entire week. Come along as she remembers why she wants to live and makes some new friends on the way. You won't be disappointed.

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✨Every now and then a book comes along that just speaks to you and moves you in a deep, deep place – one that earns a place on your shelves next to your most cherished reads. This is that book. I loved it so, so much.

✨This is a character-driven novel with beautifully drawn, fully dimensional characters, each with expertly written character arcs. I started this book not fully connecting with any of them – and by the last page, I knew and loved and wanted to be friends with all of them. ALL OF THEM. (Okay, there’s one who doesn’t deserve our friendship. You’ll see….)

✨It’s wise and tender, and equally hilarious. I laughed so hard – with literal wheezing, real tears and slapping my leg like a seal for long periods of time.

✨At its heart, this is a story of losing yourself – then finding yourself all over again. A story of love, loss, family, found family – and a story of becoming. It’s a truly meaningful and beautifully written love story to oneself and a primer on how to be a person. I don’t know how else to say it; it’s profound in its simplicity.

✨There are some deep topics here, so be sure and take note of the trigger warnings. I’ve listed them at the bottom.

✨ On a personal note, I didn’t think a book was going to come along this year that would top NIGHTWATCHING for me in its ability to thoroughly entertain while imparting a deeply significant message – but HERE WE ARE!!

Don’t miss this one. It’s an absolute must read!!

My thanks to @henryholtbooks and @netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book before its publication date.

TW: suicide, infertility, infidelity, death of spouse, death of parent

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This was such an unbelievable story -- hilarious and also interweaving with some really important concepts. Highly recommended. Definitely will be a book of the summer!

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The description has me and then the first chapter locked me in. I really enjoyed phoebe as the main character. She felt very real. I struggle with long chapters and that made getting through the story a little tough but overall this was a good read.

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Thanks NetGalley for the arc!

First off- this cover! Chefs kiss! It’s gorgeous and so appealing.

At the very beginning we meet Phoebe and discover her desire to kill herself. She checks into a fancy hotel she’s been dreaming of visiting. She’s calm. Plans to take some pills. But she makes the mistake of telling a bride (who the entire hotel is rented out for) her intentions.

Throughout this book the bride, Lila, and Phoebe become each others sounding boards and saviors. Phoebe is given a purpose while also instilling her wisdom on Lila. We watch so much unfold with all the “wedding people.” Phoebe uncovers a lot about herself and her life. And Lila tumbles through like a spoiled brat until she’s forced to face the facts.

I haven’t read anything like this in a while. It was well done. I didn’t particularly love any of the characters. This book definitely kept me on my toes wondering how this was all going to turn out. It’s amazing how many of us go through the motions of life without actually stopping to evaluate.

This book handled a lot of sensitive topics- suicide, cancer, cheating, infertility. I think the author did a good job hitting on a lot of these and how they affect not only the people involved but those around you.

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Some of the most hilarious dialogue I think I have ever read. Immerse yourself in the wedding of total strangers and laugh out loud conversations. This book was fun but also touched on life’s complexities in a well meaning manner. I wanted to stay for the next wedding coming in too!

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What an absolute gem of a book! Alison Espach is a new to me author and I loved her writing style from the very first page. It is honest, witty, sharp and funny all rolled into one. I thoroughly enjoyed this and am excited for her pub date!

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Completely loved this story about extremely serious topics but handled delicately and with humor. Phoebe travels to the fancy hotel of her dreams with the intent to kill herself there. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that instead, she discovers reasons to live thanks to a chance encounter with a bride in the elevator. All of the supporting characters (the wedding people) have moments of self-reflection too and the commentary on human nature was spot on. Great character development all around.

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I'd like to thank NetGalley for giving me an ARC of The Wedding People. When I started this book I wasn't sure how I would feel as its not my normal genere, but I really truly loved this book. The plot and the characters were perfect, I loved how honest and authentic the main character is throughout the entire week that the book takes place. I loved that the timeline was basically only a week and showed how much can happen and how complex the lives are of each and every person around at any given time. I loved the references to other books that the author dropped in from time to time. I would highly reccomend this book at all book lovers! This is a book that I will think of often and it will stick with me for many years to come. Its an amazing reminder to live life the the fullest and that its okay to be unsure of the unknown, but leaning into the uncertainty can bring you something even more promising.

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