Review: A Catered Affair by Sue Margolis

A Catered Affair by Sue Margolis
Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Page Count: 369
Source: book provided by publisher

Tallulah’s grandmother – Nana Ida – insists that her granddaughter have a big, fat Jewish wedding, which Ida is happy to pay for. Tallulah and her fiancé prefer a small Jew-ish wedding, but they finally acquiesce. For six months, they have been drowning in decision making: table center pieces (high or low?), chocolate fountain (passé?), wedding cake (does anyone actually eat it?). Everything’s up for debate. The only thing Tallulah can count on is that her fiancé will show up…

He doesn’t.

Tallulah toes throw with the reception, gets very drunk, and starts making passes at the male guests and even propositions the caterer. But over the next few weeks, reality comes crashing down around her. Her over the top mother becomes more impossible than ever. Her lesbian sister and her partner start trying to have a baby. Nana Ida gets busy matchmaking. What Tallulah is about to discover is that happiness doesn’t always come in the form of the perfect doctor – and that sometimes real love doesn’t require a catered affair…

Review: As a certified foodie and someone who grew up in the food/catering business, “A Catered Affair” seemed right up my alley! As a former New Yorker, the blurb on the back of the book made it feel as if this story was taking place in New York. It doesn’t; it takes place in London. So once I got on board with where we were, I curled up on the couch and settled in to read.

From the very opening of the book, I went from being intrigued to annoyed to laughing out loud. This book is not boring. I loved that Tally went ahead and had her reception. I don’t know if I would have the courage to face all of those guests offering condolences while I sat there in my satiny white dress!

Tally goes through such a transformation and most of her issues – besides getting left at the altar – all seem to stem from her relationship with her now-dead father. She is still trying to meet his expectations and at times it didn’t make her very likable.

There is so much going on in this book and I became frustrated with the disproportion of what scenes the author gave great detail to and which ones she chose to sort of gloss over. There was so much build up to Tally figuring out what makes her happy and those last few chapters just seemed rushed and didn’t have a lot of emotion to them.

Personally, I enjoy a story where the character’s emotions are looked at and dissected a little bit. This book didn’t do a great job with that. As for romance? There was definitely a romantic storyline here but it got lost in the sub-plots at times. It’s a nice story of family and relationships but there were too many characters for me to form any connection to.


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