cover image Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest

Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest

Jen Doll. Riverhead, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59463-198-6

Freelance writer and editor Doll has a love-hate relationship with weddings, of which she has attended more than 20, recounting with humor and honesty the highs and lows of each. While successful in her professional life, Doll dates a series of boyfriends while she tries to figure out what she does and doesn’t want from relationships, how to achieve it and whether she even wants to get married in a very modern era where more people get hitched later in life or not at all. Looking for wisdom and inspiration, she examines her parent’s long union, which has survived moves around the country and countless absences, with each evening bringing the two of them together for martinis. Her parents give her common-sense answers—share the same values, have fun together—that leave her feeling like there’s more to it than just those basics. The weddings of her friends provide their own lessons, such as when she sees and hears how the couples are getting along and knows what’s lacking in her relationship with her boyfriend and is finally compelled to break up. And, after too many weddings with too many drinks consumed and tales of bad behavior (like drunkenly making out with a groom at his bachelor party) she takes note and tries for a more adult approach with a little less drama and wine. In the end, Doll offers a refreshing take on society’s evolving ideas on marriage and the importance of knowing oneself. (May)