"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.