Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton
Genre: Adult Fiction (Chick Lit/Romance)
Publisher: 5 Spot
After seven long years of courting Brock, Peggy Adams has reached the end of her over extended New York minute. She admits that she loves the handsome and charming sports cameraman but has seen one too many of her former roommates walk happily down the aisle, one too many of her old college friends announce a second pregnancy.
Just before hopping a plane to Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party, she gives Brock an ultimatum: It’s time for action or eviction. If he doesn’t tie her down, she can’t help but float away.
She plans to follow through on her promise but maybe not quite the way things unfold.
After a wild night of rather uncharacteristic partying in Sin City, typically reserved and anxious Peggy finds herself in a hotel bed next to a complete stranger. Convinced that nothing more scandalous than snoring happened that night, Peggy bolts for the east coast, before her bed buddy comes to.
Of course, whoever said, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” didn’t know Luke.
While tending to her soap boutique back in Manhattan, the following week, Peggy picks up the phone. The caller is none other than Luke, the man she met in Vegas and he needs to speak with her immediately. See, it turns out that though their physical integrity remained intact over the course of the night, they did manage to get hitched. Woops!
They are on their way to an annulment speedier than their actual wedding when Luke’s great aunt Abby appears in the doorway. She would like for the two to stay married. She would like for them to stay married so badly that she is cutting Luke out of the family’s inheritance if they split.
After the two recover from the initial shock, Peggy hatches another plan and it might just work out positively for everyone. Or, you know, it might end in total calamity.
This was complete uncharacteristic reading for me but I can’t say that it was a loss. I’ve attempted a few “chick lit” bits in the past but have never really enjoyed the experience. I had long since given up trying when I came across Lipton’s story. It sounded cute and I have been a bit worn out with heavier things so I decided to give it a try.
While it wasn’t earth shatteringly remarkable, it was definitely fun. The writing was smooth and easy without being shallow or choppy. The plot, itself, was pretty upbeat and adventurous if a little bit silly. It also had very little down time which I find to be problematic in romances. I enjoyed the caricatures of WASPs, New England life, out-of-towners and displaced “city people”. Growing up just outside of Boston, I have always been well aware of Yankee-isms and though I have been out of the north east for over five years, the attitude and life style were easily painted by Lipton’s cast.
The only wearing part, for me, was that, at awkward moments, the emotional intelligence of the characters seemed lacking, leaving parts of the story with a taste of frustrated redundancy. There seemed to be too much inner monologue from Luke’s mind or Peggy’s thoughts that seemed to be unnaturally pent up. It left me feeling a bit helpless, as a reader, often wanting to scream, “Just tell person x how you feel, already!” there was a lot of mildly incredulous secret keeping that I just don’t think would fly in real life.
I think, if you manage to suspend your system of perceived reality, you’ll have a better time with this book. I did enjoy it as a fun romp and eventually didlet go of my need for the story to line up with feasibility.