The Wedding Beat
Devan Sipher
New American Library – Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-451-23579-4


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Gavin Greene writes the wedding column for a prominent New York City newspaper. A hopeless romantic, this thirty-something single guy reports on the ritziest glitziest nuptials across the country, but can’t find a bride of his own.

He meets Melinda, the girl of his dreams, at a New Years Eve party. Gavin suspects she likes him, too, but she leaves the party with another man. After she’s gone, Gavin realizes he failed to get her phone number. He commiserates with his gal pal Hope, who has love life issues of her own.

Meanwhile, The Paper threatens layoffs, his grandmother’s husband lies dying in a hospital bed, and Gavin still mourns the loss of his live-in lover Laurel who left him two years ago. When he realizes she wrote the screenplay for the hottest new movie, Always a Bridesmaid, and she based the male protagonist on his life, he calls her up and they have lunch. There, Gavin, a guy who believes he can’t wait to get married if only he could find the right gal, shockingly discovers Laurel, who is now married, left him only because he wouldn’t commit; that deep inside, he’s afraid of matrimony because he fears it would become a disaster like his parents’ marriage.

Throughout the story, Gavin never gives up hope of finding Melinda and wooing her. He actively seeks her, with no luck, until one day he sits at the same restaurant table with her. She is the bride in his next column. Not exactly what he had planned.

Devan Sipher’s debut novel, The Wedding Beat, has some interesting twists and turns and I don’t want to give away the ending. The writing is fun, witty and laugh out loud hilarious. While fiction, there surely must be a degree of autobiography to the story, as Sipher is indeed a wedding columnist for the New York Times and is single. It’s pure chic lit, but written by a guy about a male protagonist, which I found to be refreshing. Released last month and highly recommended.

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