cover image London Is the Best City in America

London Is the Best City in America

Laura Dave, . . Viking, $24.95 (246pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03756-8

In Dave's winning debut, narrator Emmy Everett is a sensitive and introspective young woman who is emotionally and geographically paralyzed. Ever since ditching her sleeping fiancé in a Rhode Island motel, Emmy has lived in the quiet fishing village of Naragansett, working at a bait shop and putting together an interminable documentary on fishermen's wives. Three years pass, and her beloved big brother, Josh—funny, smart and successful—is getting married, forcing Emmy out of her self-imposed exile for a weekend in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale. With 72 hours to the wedding, Emmy finds Josh confused: does he want to marry Meryl, or be with Elizabeth, the woman he's been seeing on the side? Emmy agrees to join Josh on the eve of the wedding for a daylong trip to find Elizabeth and, hopefully, what "the right thing to do" really is. The intriguing Elizabeth, as well as the authenticity of the relationship between Emmy and Josh, make the conflict credible and involving. It's hard not to root for these vivid characters; even the heroine's high school flame, Josh's best friend Jaime Daniel Berringer, is distinctive and likable, making Emmy's interest in him contagious. Josh and Emmy's happy, exasperating parents and Josh's buoyant sister in-law-to-be round out the cast, giving readers plenty of reasons to enjoy this promising new author. (May)