I like to theme my reading around things that I am doing, so, going off to a wedding last weekend, I felt that I needed some wedding-themed reading. Having just started my VVV, I thought I had better take a Virago. I've read the most obvious wedding Virago - Taylor's The wedding group - so I typed in "wedding" into the Virago website and Cassandra at the wedding was one of the titles that came up.
This is the story of Cassandra, a graduate student from Berkeley, who returns home to attend the wedding of her twin sister Judith. However, as the story unfolds we find out that Cassandra is determined to sabotage the wedding. It would give too much away to go into more detail about the ways in which Cassandra does this, and whether or not the wedding goes ahead, but the story is full of twists and turns and is completely unpredictable. As well as following the story of Cassandra and the wedding, we are given insight into Cassandra's struggles with her identity and the problem of being an identical twin, which seems to lie behind a lot of her desire to prevent the wedding going ahead. Reviewers on Amazon and on the blurb have compared this book to A catcher in the rye, and I think this is a good comparison - Cassandra is very mixed up, but equally she is astute and pithy.
I loved the style of writing in this book, Cassandra is both witty and wry, and although the book is dealing with some hard issues and very difficult moments, it comes across as quite frothy. the other characters are equally well drawn - the more stable twin sister Judith, her grandmother who prefers to ignore what she does not like or want to happen, and the likeable doctor that Judith wants to marry. Virago have some extracts on their website, which you can tempt yourself with here: http://www.virago.co.uk/pdf/extracts/9780860682448.pdf
This was the first Virago book that I had read by an American author, so I'm looking forward to the fact that this challenge won't restrict me to English authors and their works. In fact, I nearly ended up with The wedding by Dorothy West, which is another American Virago.
I read the edition at the top of the page (which looks strangely like chick-lit (which is good if it encourages people to read something more classic, although I am not hugely attracted to it myself), but Virago have also published it with these two covers: