London is the Best City in America

November 27, 2008
By Dana Bernstein SILVER, Scarsdale, New York
Dana Bernstein SILVER, Scarsdale, New York
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Laura Dave's first book London is the Best City in America is a very enjoyable book to read. While the book is a quick, easy read, readers are nevertheless drawn to the charming characters of the novel. The story opens with a narrator describing a scene where a woman around 30 years old named Emmy Everett decides to walk out on her fiancé. The two are staying at a motel in Rhode Island. In the next scene and throughout the rest of the story, Emmy Everett is the narrator. The second scene takes place three years after Emmy has left her fiancé Matt. Since then, Emmy has lived in the quiet fishing village of Naragansett. She has been putting together a documentary on the fishermen's wives. She then goes home to Scarsdale one weekend for her brother Josh's wedding, only to find out three days before the wedding that he is in love with another woman. Josh is confused as whether he should go through with his marriage to Meryl or leave Meryl for the other woman he's been seeing named Elizabeth. Emmy doesn't really know how to cope with Josh's news; Josh has always been the “good” guy. Ultimately by coming home, Emmy realizes how she's been stuck in one place for the past three years. She acknowledges that she needs to move on with her life. The story ends with uncertainty, leaving the reader to ponder over the future of the characters.
The story is not very complex, however it really connects with the reader on a personal level. The reader is enthralled by the characters at all times because the characters are very authentic. Laura Dave said she wanted to explore the question when she was writing the book, “What are the right choices to make in life?” The book definitely explores this, as the characters, mainly Emmy, constantly ask themselves, “What if I had done this or that differently? What would my life have been like?” Emmy has moved to Rhode Island, which leads to her self-imposed exile. She has been in Rhode Island for three years filming the documentary. What Emmy really wants to learn from the wives is how to keep waiting for Matt to come back to her. The fishermen leave their wives all the time, and Emmy wants to know how to be able to endure the time alone. She wants them to tell her how to do it. And only by coming home to Josh's wedding is she finally able to come to terms with her past and free herself from this exile. She finally is able to move on with her life and get over Matt. The story is definitely a winner, leaving readers yearning for more.

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