The Marrying Kind by Ken O’Neill (2010)
Goodreads Summary: Wedding planner Adam More has an epiphany: He has devoted all his life’s energy to creating events that he and his partner Steven are forbidden by federal law for having for themselves. So Adam decides to make a change. Organizing a boycott of the wedding industry, Steven and Adam call on gay organists, hairdressers, cater-waiters, priests, and hairdressers everywhere to get out of the business and to stop going to weddings, too. In this screwball, romantic comedy both the movement they’ve begun and their relationship are put in jeopardy when Steven’s brother proposes to Adam’s sister and they must decide whether they’re attending or sending regrets.
I’ve had this book on my radar for what seems like ages but could never locate a copy from a library. When my boyfriend had a job interview out of state, I went along to scope out the town and, of course, ended up at the library. I had time to kill so I perused the shelves and was happy to see they had this book. I started reading and, 20 chapters later, couldn’t put it down.
At the time I didn’t get to finish it, but I was happy to find a library close to where my mom lives had it, so I quickly got it out again and finished reading it. And I wasn’t disappointed in my long wait. I really enjoyed this book and it was light, fun, funny, entertaining, but also with a good message yet not at all preachy.
I will say that the synopsis is slightly misleading. I was expecting the book to be from Adam’s point of view. He is a wedding planner who happens to be gay and decides to stop doing weddings for straight couples until he and his partner, Steven, are allowed to marry too. Instead, the book is told from Steven’s perspective and how he feels through all of it.
Steven works at The Gay New York Times and helps his partner when they decide to boycott weddings. But then Steven’s brother and Adam’s sister get engaged, throwing their family into an uproar when sides are taken over who will attend the wedding. While the plot might sound somewhat unrealistic, I didn’t have any problems with it and it totally worked for me.
All the characters came together and this book was absolutely hilarious. The life Steven and Adam have together is so charming and all their friends, acquaintances, and hilarious adventures were so much fun to read. I felt like I was watching a really good comedy series on TV and couldn’t wait for more.
At the same time it does make you start questioning yourself about what you would do if placed in a similar situation. Would you boycott a sibling’s wedding just to make a point? I couldn’t help but notice that, happily, this issue is almost old because many states are passing marriage equality laws. But that didn’t mean the book was any less enjoyable and it’s from from being an archaic issue.
I’m so glad I got to read this and it’s such a hidden book that I haven’t seen read very much and was hard to track down, so I hope it gets a lot more readers because it’s fantastic. Even if you’re not political, the characters are adorable, the story is great and it’s full of laughs, so it can easily be just another light, fun read if you want it to. On the other hand, it can also get a lot of great discussion going. I think the author did a great job of bringing attention to an important issue in a light-hearted way.
My Rating: ★★★★☆