The Singles by Meredith Goldstein
Published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Bee Evans is getting married, and although her one wish for her wedding was that everyone would come as a couple, five people in her life have decided to come alone. Bee dubs Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy “the singles” and has a difficult time placing each guest at an appropriate table amid the sea of couples in attendance. Told from the perspective of each of the five singles, this novel is a witty and heartwarming take on life and love.
I thought this novel was really cute, and I definitely felt enamored with each of these five characters. Goldstein managed to pack a lot of information about each person into a somewhat slim novel, and I thought it was a testament to her talent as a writer that I ended up feeling close to each one of them when all was said and done.
What surprised me about this book was how smart the writing felt to me. Goldstein managed to draw me into these people’s lives and make me believe in these characters in not a whole lot of chapters. Everything was concise but detailed at the same time, although I know that’s hard to believe. These characters are incredibly flawed, but ultimately realistic in their flaws, and their weaknesses made them even more interesting to me as a reader. I wanted to get to know them better, understand them in ways I was unable to over the course of one novel. That’s not to say I didn’t feel close to them – as I said, I was surprised by just how close to them I felt – but that I would have loved even more time to spend with these characters.
The Singles was funny, too. While the end of the novel is a sort of train wreck for all characters involved, it was mildly hysterical watching them all get to that point, and throughout the novel there are many moments of witty dialogue between these people. All around, this book just kept me entertained in every possible way. I really enjoyed it.
So, yeah, I liked The Singles a lot actually. The characters drew me in and held my interest, I thought the writing was pretty good, and there were equal moments of hilarity and seriousness. If you like this type of thing – and I know many of you do not, but what the heck – give The Singles a try.