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Rachel’s Reads – Tie The Knot

Wedding season has officially returned! After the quiet of last year, the summer weather has arrived and brought with it an extremely full calendar of ceremonies, showers, and parties. Weddings can certainly bring out the best and the worst in us: family drama, seating charts, food choices, and fancy locations. Here are a few books centered around weddings to get you in the seasonal spirit. 

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Highlighting how difficult those seating plans can be, this novel explores the Van Meter clan as they gather at an exclusive island for the wedding of their daughter to the appropriate Greyson Duff. This social satire has real bite. 

The Wedding by Dorothy West
Set in Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s, this novel follows the Coles family as they come together to celebrate the wedding of their favorite daughter, Shelby. Members of the insular Black community called the Oval, the family has to come to terms with Shelby’s decision to marry a white jazz musician. 

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
This book shows how weddings (and family) can certainly bring out the worst in us. Paul and Alice are forced to attend their half-sister Eloise’s posh wedding, and, in doing so, have to reckon with their own relationship issues. The results are comical. 

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
We meet Afi on her wedding day, with the slight hiccup that her future husband, Elikem, has decided not to attend the ceremony. Selected by Elikem’s mother who doesn’t approve of his current romance, and with a financial gift in store for her mother if she goes through with the wedding, Afi might not have a love match but this is a fantastic read. 

A French Wedding by Hannah Tunnicliffe
What sounds more romantic than a wedding in the French countryside? A washed-up rock star invites his five college friends to his house for a weekend as he wants to declare his love for his best friend, Helen. The table is set for some secrets, romantic entanglements, and a wedding none of them expect. 

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Alexa and Drew meet during a power outage while stranded in an elevator and Alexa leaves the elevator pretending to be Drew’s girlfriend and his plus one for his ex’s wedding. The obvious chemistry between the two makes this a fun read. 

Brick Lane by Monica Ali
This debut novel is set in the East End of London and follows two Bangladeshi sisters, one who has eloped for a love marriage, and the other pledged in a traditional arranged marriage. It is a great examination of love and marriage, continuing to explore their relationships long after the wedding. 

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
This novel reminds us why we keep returning to this timeless genre as the heroine, Madeline, writes her academic thesis about the marriage plot. As she studies great English novels, two very different men present her with that fundamental choice about what kind of life she truly wants to lead. 

Also featured in the July 10, 2021 issue of The Independent


Rachel became the publisher of The Independent in March of 2017 and then married her husband Jake in May. Their goldendoodle Einstein joined the family in 2019. Rachel is an avid reader and loves to share book recommendations. (Don’t miss her column, Rachel’s Reads in the Magazine!) She can always be found with a book nearby, especially while traveling (another of her favorite things).

Bailey Pianalto Photography



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