Two days before a father gives his daughter away in an all-American east coast wedding.Two days for a seemingly safe world of wealth and privilege to unravel. 59-year-old patriarch Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun with relatives and friends as Winn prepares to marry off his daughter Daphne to Greyson Duff. Winn has never really understood his daughters. Daphne is pleased to be settling down with a fine match, even though she's heavily pregnant at her own wedding. Her sister Livia has foolishly allowed her heart to be broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father's oldest social rival. Winn's wife Biddy has arranged the wedding with military precision. Winn loves her, but is this is enough? His unrequited yearning for Daphne's lissom bridesmaid, Agatha, comes to boiling point as she taunts him at every turn, prompting him to ask questions about his life: Did he marry the right woman? Did he make the most of his youth? And most importantly, why is he still being refused entry to the Pequod Club? In silky, sensual prose, Maggie Shipstead lays bare the pretensions of a New England society with a wit and sophistication that heralds the debut of an exciting new literary voice.
Winner of the LA Times' First Fiction Prize for 2012.
'Maggie Shipstead is an outrageously gifted writer, and her assured first novel, Seating Arrangements, is by turns hilarious and deeply moving.' RICHARD RUSSO
Maggie Shipstead graduated from Harvard in 2005 and earned an M.F.A at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Currently, she is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Seating Arrangements is her first novel.