Cover Image: The Wedding People

The Wedding People

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Some parts of this novel were so hard for me as someone who struggles with infertility and mental health. I am so, so glad I pushed through any discomfort I had to read this thoughtful and witty book. I laughed, I cried, I empathized with Phoebe (sometimes more than I wanted to). This novel truly is a love letter to people that are at the very end of their rope and still find a way to make it through the day. Kudos to the author for writing such an amazing story and real characters.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️From publisher Henry Holt and Company: It’s a beautiful day in Newport, Rhode Island, when Phoebe Stone arrives at the grand Cornwall Inn. She's immediately mistaken by everyone in the lobby for one of the wedding people, but she’s actually the only guest at the Cornwall who isn’t here for the big event. Phoebe is here because she’s dreamed of coming for years—and determined to have one last decadent splurge on herself. Meanwhile, the bride has accounted for every detail and every possible disaster the weekend might yield except for, well, Phoebe and Phoebe's plan—which makes it that much more surprising when the two women can’t stop confiding in each other.

In turns absurdly funny and devastatingly tender, Alison Espach’s The Wedding People is ultimately an incredibly nuanced and resonant look at the winding paths we can take to places we never imagined—and the chance encounters it sometimes takes to reroute us.
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My review: Phoebe was depressed and lonely and she decided to check out of her life. She escapes to a fancy hotel and gets swept up in an over the top wedding. The bride and Phoebe seem drawn to each other and soon are dependent.
I admit o was drawn to Phoebe and Lila and what would happen with both of them.
At times I laughed out loud, I worried, I felt Phoebe, Lila, Gary, Jim and Juice's pain. In a wedding full of sad people, all looking for something else, the light at the end of the tunnel seems iffy. Phoebe was always considered "the smart one" and it turns out that's true.
I enjoyed the book more than I thought, it drew me and I needed to know how everyone would come out at the end of the tunnel.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Thank you to to NetGalley and Henry Holt Publishing for an advance digital copy in exchange for my review.

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Thank you to Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for this advance copy. This started off a little rocky because of the dark nature of the topics combined with the light irreverent tone. It was off putting for me in the beginning, but possibly because it dealt with topics that are sensitive for me. I liked how Phoebe and Lila’s relationship evolved and I enjoyed the humor once the subject matter became somewhat lighter. This was ultimately sweet and funny but at times I was annoyed with what felt like too much rambling.

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eARC Henry Holt & Co
This book surprised me in so many ways. I am not always the biggest fan of literary fiction, but this worked so well for me. I loved the characters. They were richly developed, unique, and so easy to imagine. Phoebe was a character I just wanted to hug and sit with and get to know better. I also loved the set up here. The wedding and Phoebe being the only person not attending made for such an interesting way to create a temporary community. There were so many tender and vulnerable moments that had me feeling so many different emotions - I teared up while reading this book and also laughed at some of antics. It was such a relatable story in some ways, and it will definitely be a favorite of the year.

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The cover and title suggest that this book will be a funny, lighthearted read. The promise of "funny" is upheld after the first 15% or so, which are a big downer (TW for suicidal thoughts). But this book, while a good beach read, remains bittersweet in its outlook on life, even as the humor makes for enjoyable reading. The main character finds herself at a hotel at which all the other guests are there for a wedding, and soon, she and the bride have each other questioning the plans they thought they had. I'd urge fellow readers to press on past the depressing opening to get to a book that is a humorous summer read, one that I looked forward to opening each night.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt for the Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Book Review: The Wedding People by Alison Cochran

Trigger Warning: This book contains discussions about suicide, suicidal thoughts, and references to these topics throughout the narrative. Please read with caution.

I was thrilled to receive an ARC of The Wedding People and eagerly dived into its pages. Alison Cochran has crafted a remarkable novel that deftly balances a heavy subject with a light, engaging narrative. From the very beginning, it’s clear that Cochran has a unique talent for addressing serious issues without diminishing their importance, while also weaving in humor and hope.

The story centers on a woman in midlife who is at a crossroads, prompting her to re-evaluate her life and make significant changes. It begins on a rather somber note, but soon evolves into a delightful roller coaster of relationships, experiences, and profound reflections. Cochran’s ability to transform a seemingly hopeless situation into a comical and heartwarming journey is truly impressive.

What stands out most in The Wedding People is the brilliant writing. The banter between characters is sharp and witty, adding a layer of enjoyment that keeps the reader engaged. The vivid descriptions of coastal towns are particularly enchanting, making me long to visit these picturesque locales.

While the book has a light-hearted tone, it is far from a superficial read. It is filled with hope, valuable insights, and an invitation to think differently about our lives and the choices we make. Cochran's storytelling is both entertaining and thought-provoking, making it a perfect read for those looking to find depth beneath the humor.

The Wedding People is set to be a summer hit, ideal for beach, lake, or poolside reading. It’s a book that not only entertains but also uplifts and informs, offering a fresh perspective on the preciousness of life. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a read that is both light and substantial, filled with heart and humor.

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4 1/2 stars.

This is the first book I've ready by Alison Espach and I enjoyed every moment of it. The Wedding People is one of those rare books where you like everyone in it. There are no real villians, just people who are trying to do their best to find their happily ever after.

The Wedding People is a beautiful story about lost and found family and learning to accept yourself - faults and all. Phoebe has hit rock bottom in her life and while planning to spend her final day at a hotel she always wanted to visit, Phoebe never imagines her plans will get derailed by Lila, a pushy bride who refuses to have her dream Newport wedding to Gary ruined.

None of The Wedding People are perfect - they deal with a myriad of problems, including infertility, death, divorce, infidelity, children and other issues, large and small. There is a realness to the characters who talk openly about their struggles and how they are currently trying towork through their problems, or have overcome them in the past. As Lila reminisces at one point in the novel, "...is there one thing you feel capable of doing right now instead of crying? And there always was."

The Wedding People is heartwarming, funny and filled with characters to cheer for. At its core this is a book about connection, and the lengths people will go to, to find it. I found myself eager to find time to read and spend time with these characters and to find out what would happen at the end of the wedding week. I'm not at all surprised to learn this book has been optioned for a movie. I'm already looking forward to it!

This book is scheduled to be published July 30, 2024.

Thanks to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Company and Alison Espach for the advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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In this book, Phoebe, a divorced adjunct professor, travels to an exclusive hotel in Newport to kill herself. She is the only hotel guest who is not part of an elaborate six-day wedding celebration. When the bride, Lila, meets her, she tells Phoebe that she cannot ruin the wedding and offers to pay for her to stay at the hotel in exchange for staying alive. I enjoyed the interactions between the characters and what they learned about themselves. Despite the premise, this is not a heavy book and has some humor.

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This was fun lighthearted in the beginning as we follow our main gal , who seems to be a vacation and a wedding she’s attending
Well I little twist comes to play and from then on I was gripped could not but it down !! Gripped page turner to see what’s next . Likable characters and intense moments check your triggers this story has some dark elements we see unfold , bizzare friendships are Made and another twist of plans come to play !! Sooo good loved this can’t wait for the physical book in my hands
It’s that good!!

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It has been a while since I've said, I would read a book a second time (I mean let's be honest with an ever growing TBR pile), but I do plan read The Wedding People again. It surprised me with its humor, sadness, and self discovery. Knowing full well it is a fictional story, Phoebe just seems so real and honest, a character you root for. Alison Espach covers some taboo topics including suicide, cheating, and divorce, but in a refreshing and honest approach, which I greatly appreciate. A book I will recommend to friends.
Thank you to NetGalley, Henry Holt Publishing, and Alison Espach for the ARC of this lovely book.

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Phoebe is over it. Her husband leaves her for another women, a coworker and friend. Her job at the university is going no where and to top it all off Harry, her beloved cat, the last thing she loved is dead.
She hops on the soonest flight to Rhode Island to a hotel she has been obsessed with. Only to discover that the hotel is hosting an entire wedding party. No matter, she is there to die and tells the bride matter-of-factly. The Bride, Lila, is not going to let phoebe ruin her wedding because this week is entirely about her.
The connections formed between phoebe and the wedding people solidifies her will to live and to live with out reservation. She discovers different type of love and comes to terns her demons.

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I adored The Wedding People.

It’s the story of Phoebe, a woman who shows up at The Cornwall Inn in a green dress and heels with no bags. She’s assumed to be another member of the wedding party, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Meanwhile Lila, the bride has accounted for every detail of her wedding day…except Phoebe. What follows is a novel about self discovery and moving into the next phase of their lives over the course of one very long wedding week.

I very much enjoyed reading this one. The story is well plotted, though I did feel like I knew where it was going around the halfway point in the book. That didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story though. I also liked the characters a lot! I loved Phoebe’s perspective and enjoyed her scenes with Juice and Gary the most. Overall, was happy with where this one ended up!

Thank you to Netgalley and Henry Holt & Company for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: 7/30/24

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This book was as delightful as it was unexpected and heartbreaking. I enjoyed the pacing and getting to know the people at the wedding!

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This book is so much more than I expected. I think I expected something light and funny (and it is funny), but it is also really, really deep. It swirl around choices we make (and why), how we give up on ourselves, how we deal (or fail to) with life's curveballs. And honestly, how often ridiculous we are as humans. I loved this...all of this, and I really love this writer. A while ago I read Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, and I felt the same way...there are lots of layers here: shallow and deep, light and dark, and most of all it made me think and reevaluate myself and those around me. Honestly, this is so, so good. I'm heading to Amazon right now to see if this author has other titles. I feel I need to read them. Thank you NetGalley and Publishers for providing a digital ARC for review.

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I absolutely LOVED this book. It’s nuanced, sad, heartfelt, funny, and deeply human. I could see myself rereading this many times, and getting something new from it each time. Thank you for the ARC!!

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The Wedding People by Alison Espach is a dark story but soooo beautiful to read!
Their is something about a book with a main character who has lost herself so deeply and tragically as Phoebe. The fact that she finds herself again not because of a man or friendship, but because she truly learns to love herself is where Espach really gave me all of the feels. I am not saying that this book doesn't include themes such as romance, friendship, motherhood (in multiple forms) and I also quite enjoyed those aspects. But I got to the end of this story expecting a certain ending but got another and this was so inspiring!
Phoebe has completely hit rock bottom but I cant help but love as she slowly realizes how smart, beautiful, and funny she truly is flaws and all.
Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company for the E ARC in exchange for my review.

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I’ll be recommending The Wedding People to my friends who love a well written romance novel. The main character, Phoebe, grabbed my attention and never let it go. Despite this being a fictional story, she seemed like a real person. I found myself wishing for her to find happiness. I hope many others will pick up this smart novel and be drawn in like I was.

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I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book, but with that, I have a hard time reviewing this one, as I ebbed and flowed on my enjoyment of the book. I was hooked from the first few pages, but then struggled to stay interested through some of the monotony of the depressing parts of the lead character over the subsequent chapters. (Trigger warnings: there is much talk about suicide and cheating/divorce) However, it was a necessary component to see the growth of this character as time went on.

The second half of the book I found to be pretty entertaining (because some of the things that happened were a bit far-fetched), but this aspect also made it pretty fun, and had some laugh out loud moments. I enjoyed the fact that I truly couldn't figure out how this book would end, and found myself racing to the end to find out if the "wedding people" would actually get married or not.

This was a departure from the typical thriller or romance novels I read, so for that alone, I liked it and would recommend it to others needing a step away from their usual genres.

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“The Wedding People” by Alison Espach
Depressed – Diverted – New Day
Happenstances can change your whole world from dire to delightful. I loved this story. How we self talk can totally change our world. This story can give you lots to ponder, or just entertain you. Happy Reading ! !

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Is this my favorite book ever? I think it might just be. The Wedding People is truly unputdownable and is an absolute must read. A novel about being at the lowest of lows and life just won't relent but then a little unexpected sliver of light that becomes everything. Stunning. Wonderful. Every description for perfection, this novel earns them all.

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