The RomanticsBook - 2008
""The Romantics" is a smart, edgy novel that is wickedly insightful about class and privilege, amusingly cynical about love and friendship, and thoroughly entertaining throughout. Galt Niederhoffer is an elegant prose stylist and a shrewd social observer."--Tom Perrotta
Laura and Lila were once as close as could be--college roommates at the center of a tight-knit group of friends. But the friendship has wilted a bit. Now, ten years after college, the friends--and the boyfriend they shared--have reunited for Lila's wedding at her family's seaside estate in Maine.
Laura is reserved, single, and the only Jew in the group, while the bride, Lila, is a WASP-y moneyed golden girl, and the groom, Tom, a swim team star from a working class Catholic background, is a perfect paradox of confidence and confusion. As the wedding draws near and wine flows faster, the disappointments and desires of the reuniting friends come quickly to the surface. A drunken game on the estate's dock goes awry when the revelers are pulled out to sea by the current. When they swim back to shore, they are short by one--the groom. The search throws the group's shifting allegiances into relief and results in new betrayals as well as confessions.
With Lila's family's picture-perfect Maine summer house as the backdrop, Laura not only sees her old friends in a new light, but reassesses herself as well--is she the only one of the group destined to be unmarried into her thirties? Was it always this obvious that she was the only Jew in a pride of WASPs? Struggling with the traditionally thankless role of maid of honor--not to mention contending with Lila's formidable mother Augusta--Laura also realizes she can't stop thinking about her complicated, long and intense relationship with the groom. But isn't that relationship far in the past?
A wry observer of cultural and social mores, Niederhoffer creates a pitch-perfect group of characters and a winning novel about friendship, class and love.