Member Reviews

is is one of those books I will think about forever.
I honestly can’t even begin to describe the beauty of this story. I laughed and cried and fell deeply in love with every character.
I am a sucker for a hotel scene, and I love a good wedding, so I figured this book would be for me.
I had no idea how it would capture my heart and soul from page one.
Phoebe goes to commit suicide at a beautiful hotel fully booked by a wedding. I won’t tell anymore because I would hate to ruin this gorgeous story. I will say that she learns to live again through these strangers.
“…this wedding will never be a waste,” phoebe says. “Because I came here to die. And now look at me. “
Espach is a literary genius and is so incredibly gifted at creating. I felt completely immersed in her world, and actually got teary that it was over.
Pretty sure I could have read Phoebe forever.
If I could give this more stars I would. For now it’s 5, solid gold 5.

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This book might be my favorite book of 2023. I know it comes out in 2024 but wow, the story of the wedding people really comes down to human nature. How one singular moment can have such a chain reaction, how easy it is to make a new friend.
Phoebe went from being a stranger at a wedding to the maid of honor. By just being a good human being to someone else who was good to her. Genuine connections can come at any point in life. you just have to have the courage to go for them.

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This is a book I heard about from Annie B. Jones from From the Front Porch way back in August and I had made note about it because it sounded so good. Then I proceeded to stalk Netgalley over and over for months until it was finally available on there. The day I got approved, I dropped everything and dug in, and I’m so glad I did.

This likely won’t be in my top books of the year but only because it doesn’t come out until July of 2024 and that feels weird to do, so just know, this is an honorary pick.

Phoebe has put on her best dress and headed to the Cornwall Inn. When she gets there, she learns she’s the only guest who is not a part of the wedding people - a group that has rented out the hotel for the week. But Phoebe isn’t there for the wedding… she is there to kill herself. And when the bride corners her, demanding to know why Phoebe is there, Phoebe blurts out the real reason and the bride goes into hysterics, blaming Phoebe for ruining her wedding week, and pleading with her not to do it. But there’s something else - they can’t stop confiding in one another, even while Phoebe is insisting she’ll go through with it.

Obviously, from the blurb we know of the big trigger warning here - suicide and suicidal ideation. And yes, that is a very big plot of the book, but it’s not all of it. I found this book to be more about loneliness and about humanity and about figuring out who the hell we are and what we want out of life. Phoebe has had her life turned upside down, and she doesn’t know what to do now. The bride, Lila, is also struggling to be seen and heard, no matter that she is rich and beautiful.

One of my favorite things is that the author didn’t strive to make these characters likable or to feel pity for them. She simply allowed them to show their full humanity and because of that, we could relate to each of them in different ways, even if the circumstances were different.

With the subject matter, you’d expect this book to be dark and depressing. And yes, it definitely had elements of that, but this was also funny and sweet and compulsively readable. I did not want to leave these characters. I wanted to be immersed for longer in this Newport, Rhode Island setting. I wanted to be a part of the wedding people, in all their drama and problems.

When this book comes out, I’ll be buying a hard copy to keep for my shelves because the experience of reading it is one that I won’t soon forget.

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Great read. I thought this would be a light comedy - and in a way it is. The smart dialogue of the characters is entertaining. But this book is so much more - we watch and cheer for the characters as they discover who they truly are.

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The cover of this book really does invoke the way the writing makes you feel. Like you’re actively drowning before everyone’s eyes but you’re just like, it’s all good dudes ✌🏻because that’s how all of the characters feel in one way or another.

The way I could feel the depths of Phoebe’s despair - the point where you have stopped scrabbling for an edge or a reason or a break because you’re so tired - I actually had to put the book down and come back to it a few days later when the sun was out because it was written so well that I could almost feel myself slipping. That’s talent and is also traumatic to me 😌

Also, every single time Matt or Mia was mentioned I was filled with a feral rage unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life or would like to experience ever again. I kept hoping the book would take a sudden twist and one of the wedding people would kill them or something (so that Phoebe didn’t have to, obviously, homegirl has been through enough). I was truly shocked and appalled at the depth of my own loathing. 10/10

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Wow! This book was truly like no book I’ve ever read before and I read a lot. The plot instantly drew me in. The characters felt so real and were so multidimensional. Each twist and turn along the way was a pleasant surprised. This book covers real topics, real people, and real situations. It’s raw and although a work of fiction, it was so real. The setting was perfect (hint, takes place in the ocean state)! I highly recommend this book once it is released next summer (July 30, 2024)! Definitely add it to your TBR if you haven’t yet. Easily a 4-5 star book! I am giving a 4 simply because the narration was different than what I’m used to. Not so much a con, but I did have to reread a few sentences here and there to make sure I knew which character was being referenced. But once I really dove in, the words were more seamless!

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What a gem! I really enjoyed reading about these people. Even when I couldn't relate to them at all, they all really felt like real people. The only mistep I felt was having the ex-husband make an appearance, it felt out of place and threw off the pacing a little.

I honestly wouldn't mind reading another installment about this group of people. Maybe from a different character's point of view? I loved Phoebe's story and it was wrapped up well but I wanted to know more about everyone else.

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When I first started this book I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Phoebe goes to a hotel after she feels her life has fallen apart to end her life. Well life gets in the way and she gets drawn into a wedding group that stays at the hotel. Second chances and realizing life will get better. Wanted a little more from the ending but overall a great read.

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Will this become a hit when it's released next summer? I hope so. It’s one of my top reads of 2023.

I confess this was an impulse Netgalley request based on the cover. I expected a rom com—and in some ways it is—but it’s definitely more in the vein of literary fiction.

The first 20% of the book was a straight up gut punch—incredibly depressing and dark, but also so beautiful.

Just when I'd settled into the more introspective style of writing in the early chapters, there was an abrupt shift to a very dialogue-heavy story and a lighter tone. Things could have gone all wrong from there, but Alison Espach is blessed with the ability to write both insanely good dialogue and prose that is tender, incisive, and affecting. I’m eager to explore her backlist. She’s very talented.

I have a couple gripes: A few of the characters seemed like outsized caricatures. And one character makes an appearance at the end of the novel that seemed a bit rom com tropey and not actually needed to show that the heroine has moved on. But these were small issues.

This book is a comedy and a romance, but it contained within it a darkness and depth that really spoke to me. And at its core it's a wonderful character study. The heroine, Phoebe, is one I won’t soon forget. I felt for her from beginning to end—when she was at her best and at her very worst. And I found myself genuinely moved and uplifted by the choices she made as the story progressed.

I expected a forgettable, fun little romp with this one, but I think this will turn out to be one of the most memorable books I read all year.

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This book is absolutely phenomenal. I truly never wanted it to end. Phoebe is unhappy with every part of her life when she heads to the grand Cornwall Inn with a plan. Once she arrives, she quickly realizes that everyone else at the inn is there for a wedding and her objective starts to shift. I found it to be such a relatable story of connection and friendship. Phoebe shows how important and powerful it is to find your own voice. I am honestly tempted to immediately reread it to savor the perfection.

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The Wedding People was such a good life-questioning read, it was fun and enjoyable but it also had it's bittersweet moments. It was quite interesting to see how Phoebe's plans got interrupted and how she got dragged into the wedding week, all the interactions with the other guests and activities, the journey that Phoebe goes through in those couple of days, brilliant.

This was a fast read, but I gotta say the first quarter of the book was hard on me, but once the “introduction” it's out of the way the story comes to life.

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This book took me a long time to read which is usually a quick indicator that I don't love a book. On the contrary, I really enjoyed The Wedding People and really wanted to savor this story. It is filled with dark humor and a lot of interesting ideas on life and marriage- definitely not your typical fluffy wedding story, but a much deeper read.

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A quick and emjoyable read. Fairly predictable. Will be a great summer read for next year and I expect to see it on the beach this summer. Thanks for the chance to read.

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I found this to be a slow paced book but it had wonderful and snappy dialogue between the characters. For me, the dialogue saved the book. Phoebe, a professor married to another professor, lacks ambition and has difficulty with follow-through. While she struggles with fertility issues, her husband doesn't mind so much--as Phoebe finds out when he leaves her for another woman. All this is to say that Phoebe is not enjoying life, she is drinking too much, having difficulties getting to work and ready to call it quits in life. She ends up at a hotel that is full of "wedding people." Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. for the digital ARC. This review is my own and not coerced in any way. 4 stars.

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Phoebe rents a suite at a fancy hotel in Newport, RI where she plans to end her life. She is the only guest on the grounds who is not there for a six day wedding extravaganza. When she meets Lila the bride, they start a friendship and Phoebe not only becomes involved in the wedding festivities but finds she has many reasons to live.

After reading the author’s other novels, I got my hands on The Wedding People as soon as I could. The story takes a much different direction than The Adults and Notes on my Sister’s Sudden Disappearance and it’s a wonderful read. The writing is beautiful, the dialogue is well done and the character development is so good. I loved how the author sprinkled humor throughout the story and I was rooting for all of these flawed people. I enjoyed everything in this novel from the very first page!

Thank you to the author, Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for an advance reader copy of this lovely book. I’ll be looking for the hardcover to add to my library after the publication date.

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The wedding people was a great book, it really kept my interest and had a really great ending. Alison Espach really does a good job with bringing not only romance into this book but also other aspects as well which makes for an interesting read.

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It took me a while to get into this book but after it stuck with me just how much I loved it. It was so honest. It isn't my normal style of book that I enjoy but there was something about the vulnerability of really telling it like it is with out sugar coating the characters. I appreciated it.

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Totally my favorite kind of book - tackling bleak subjects with humor and pathos and even a little romance. For fans of Catherine Newman and maybe even Emily Henry.

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I wanted to read this book because it had wedding in the title and takes place in Newport RI, one of my favorite places. Actually the book was not really about the wedding and while Newport is the backdrop could have taken place anywhere there are REALLY fancy hotels. It is a book about characters, love, loss and how are lives are and can they be changed. Phoebe is a great character--she starts out as a dismal character, but at the end of the book--not the end of the story (that is left to the reader), she is a true heroine, fixing everyone's problems, especially her own. I hate to say this, but this book would make a great movie. If you loved the Philadelphia story (the play or the movie) you will like this book.

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In the novel, "The Wedding People," Phoebe Stone flees her drab existence as an adjunct professor in St. Louis: "Phoebe wasn't beloved by her department. She wasn't hated but she wasn't a star---" only to arrive at the Cornwall Inn in Newport, Rhode Island inadvertently during someone's lavish, week-long wedding celebration.

She finds herself thrown into the festivities and develops friendships with the prospective bride, Lila, and groom, Gary, a widower with a teenage daughter, Juice.

"You'll be okay." Phoebe tells Juice. "I know you don't believe that now. But you will."
"How do you know though?"
"Because I didn't have a mother, either."

Alison Espach has written a touching, funny, and altogether heartwarming story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Company for the ARC of "The Wedding People."

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