THE BRIDESMAIDS UNION by Jonathan Vatner

From the publisher:

From the author of Carnegie Hill, comes Jonathan Vatner’s The Bridesmaids Union, a captivating novel of family, Facebook groups, and bridesmaids gone rogue.

Iris Hagarty has just about had it with weddings. After witnessing one too many meltdowns over flower arrangements, she takes to the internet to vent about the trials and tribulations of being a bridesmaid to demanding and ungrateful brides. She finds she is not alone, and soon becomes the moderator of a Facebook group full of other bridesmaids, eager to share their own horror stories.

Enter Iris’s sister Jasmine, the golden child and their parents’ obvious favorite, newly engaged and wanting none other than Iris to be her maid of honor. Knowing full well that Jasmine doesn’t need a wedding to bring out her spoiled side, Iris buckles in for a bumpy ride. At least now she has an outlet―one full of new online friends hungry for juicy details.

But as the Bridesmaids Union grows, Iris finds it harder to keep under control. And she even has some doubts about whether there will be a wedding after all. While Jasmine’s fiancé, David, seems smitten with his bride-to-be, Iris is less sure about her social-climber sister’s intentions. Though that could just be because Iris is having trouble keeping her own eyes off of the groom.

Brimming with family drama, and set in the ever-encroaching world of Instagram DM’s and Facebook flame wars, The Bridesmaids Union shows the power and limits of alliances we form on social media, and how to make the most of the ones we’re born into.

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Vatner follows up Carnegie Hill with a not-so-lighthearted look at bridezillas and the bridesmaids that serve them. Iris has been estranged from her family since the 2016 election. She was a staunch Hillary supporter, her sister Jasmine didn’t bother to vote, and her parents are evangelical, one issue Trump supporters. So when Jasmine asks Iris to be a bridesmaid, Iris is surprised but happy. Jasmine is a micro-influencer and wants an Instagram worthy wedding with a farm-inspired theme. Iris has already been a bridesmaid twice this year and she really needs a place to vent about Jasmine’s crazy wedding ideas. She starts a secret Facebook group and soon a few hundred women are sharing bridal horror stories. Meanwhile, Ryan, a popular style influencer in the group, helps Iris out and she makes him an admin. When Jasmine goes off the deep end, Ryan decides to out her and makes the group public. Iris is cancelled, there are a lot of hurt feelings before the surprise ending.

Verdict: Family drama, politics, and religion make for interesting fodder but may turn off some readers. Should appeal to fans of Jonathan Tropper’s novels.

©Library Journal, 2022

6/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE BRIDESMAIDS UNION by Jonathan Vatner. St. Martin’s Press (June 14, 2022). ISBN: 978-1250762399. 336p.

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