Sunday, June 12, 2022

"The Bridesmaids Union"

Jonathan Vatner is the author of The Bridesmaids Union (2022) and Carnegie Hill (2019). His fiction has earned praise from People, Town & Country, The New York Post, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the managing editor of Hue, the magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology and teaches fiction writing at New York University and the Hudson Valley Writers Center.

Vatner applied the Page 69 Test to The Bridesmaids Union and reported the following:
On page 69 of The Bridesmaids Union, Iris, the protagonist, starts messaging with Kyle, an influencer who has joined the Bridesmaids Union—Iris’s Facebook support group for bridesmaids. Most of the page is a conversation in DMs. (Iris’s are right-justified, and Kyle’s are on the left.)
Thanks for joining the BMU!

That’s industry for Bridesmaids Union

Thanks 4 letting me in!

I love ur stories

Those brides b so cray!

His tone was more enthusiastic than she’d expected.

Thanks!!! You seem to be in a real predicament. So you’re going to confront Baxter?

She cringed at all the exclamation points, but without them, she’d seem stern, even psychotic. A period in a text message could be a mic drop.

LOL, this weekend.

Iris wasn’t sure how his situation called for a “laugh out loud,” but maybe he was trying to be a good sport.
The page is representative of the novel, in that much of the story is told through various online media: Facebook posts and comments, texts and DMs, the occasional email or tweet. This first conversation with Kyle reveals a bit of Iris’s self-deprecating wit, as well as Kyle’s online voice. It’s also representative of just how much time Iris spends online. The internet, and particularly social media, pervades almost every page of the book. She becomes best friends with Kyle without meeting in person.

Of course there’s a lot more to the book. Iris is maid of honor for her sister Jasmine’s wedding, and she’s posting about it in the Bridesmaids Union because she has no one else to complain to. The wedding is preceded by a battery of celebrations: bridesmaid proposal, engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette party, not to mention dress fittings and additional parties. Much of the book is about Iris trying to understand and accept her sister, who has changed dramatically since they were last in touch. And to be a good sister to Jasmine, despite the cruelties they’ve inflicted on each other.

But if you were going to pick one page to hook a reader, 69 isn’t bad!
Visit Jonathan Vatner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue