Book review: Seating Arrangements, By Maggie Shipstead


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The Independent Culture

Shipstead's sophisticated and summery debut more than lives up to the hype. The Van Meter clan are gathered at their holiday home on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the wedding of their eldest daughter, Daphne.

But as the guests start to roar up the drive – "as though bringing General Paton to the front line" – the father of the bride, Winn Van Meter, finds himself falling in lust with one of the bridesmaids.

In this highly perceptive send-up of East Coast snobberies, Shipstead writes tenderly about a man forced to confront his own failings.