Grant Ginder made an appearance on The Public Library with Helen Little to talk about his sinfully good novel The People We Hate At The Wedding which follows a family who is headed to London to attend their half sisters wedding. Ginder's novel closely examines the dynamics of love and loyalty and takes family dysfunction to the next level with his hilarious quips and sharply cynical language.
The People We Hate At The Wedding introduces us to three siblings, Alice, Paul, and Eloise and their mother Donna. Alice is in her thirties, single, and stuck at a thoughtless job where she is pursuing an affair with her boss. Her brother, Paul, who lives with his handsome professor boyfriend, and works as a social worker at a clinic to treat patients with OCD. Enter Eloise, their half sister, who has always been perfect, gorgeous, and cultured. Eloise spent her years in the best boarding schools, her winter vacations in the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, and lived a post-college life with a cushy trust fund. As the clan gathers together in London for Eloise's big walk down the aisle, Ginder brings out the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most when the power of family gets put to the test! The writing in this novel gets you deep inside the mind of each character and you'll feel like the secrets each character harbors are your own.
One of the most fascinating parts about this novel was the characters. Eloise is a character that draws you right in due to the notion of money, class, and privilege; particularly what happens when those three things start dividing a family. One of the main themes of the novel is Ginder exploring how those three things paint and distort relationships within a family.
Grant's idea for The People We Hate At The Wedding stemmed from him and his friends on the way back from a gorgeous wedding. After one too many bottles of wine, his friend leaned over to him and proclaimed; "Grant, the people we hated at the wedding. Go." From there, Grant instantly realized that was catchy and jotted it down in his phone. The next morning, he woke up and saw the note and realized that he had something and this could make a seriously good title for a book. The title is what got our attention at first as well! After reading the first chapter, this novel will suck you right in.
Each of the characters in this book deals with their own kind of anguish, which makes The People We Hate At The Wedding so intriguing. The individual heartbreaks that each character suffers makes them more relatable to the reader, which is why we got hooked on this novel so quickly! Ginder explained that, "It was important to me that you understood where these character's insecurities were coming from and where the self protectiveness was coming from. I needed to give each character, particularly Paul and Alice, something dark that they were dealing with so that they weren't just being selfish but they were acting out of this place of self perseverance."
Helen asked Ginder were he got the idea to write about a family with an extremely complex dynamic; "What interests me is the different kind of mythologies and narratives that we create about the people who are closest to us. We create these lives for them that are based on our own memories of them, our own distorted recollections of them, which is what People We Hate At The Wedding really is." Ginder successfully captures the clash between people who are intimately connected yet deeply at odds, which you will clearly see once you have completed the book.
Below, you can see what Grant thinks about the saying that authors write the same book over and over again!
The People We Hate At The Wedding takes family dysfunction to a hilarious level and it's witty language will absorb you from the very first page. Our fellow Public Library Podcast guest Elin Hilderbrand, even reviewed Ginder's book; "Fact: best title of any novel ever. This story about a dysfunctional blended family and a wedding in England is sinfully good."
If you trust us, you'll go out and buy this book ASAP. Ginder's writing does not disappoint and we can't wait to see what he has in store next.