It’s not a good thing, waking up next to a handsome stranger in a Las Vegas motel room, with absolutely NO idea how you got there, or what you did. Peggy Adams, in Las Vegas to celebrate yet another impending marriage of a friend has been busily drowning her sorrows. Her live-in boyfriend has finally promised to get engaged someday and even gave her a “promise ring.” (You remember those, from high school?) Imagine Peggy’s shock, when she discovers that she’s actually married to the handsome stranger, and that he is from one of those WASP “royal” families. He’s Luke Sedgwick, from the New Nineveh, Connecticut Sedgwicks, the last of a long line of Sedgwick’s. Luke and Peggy are planning to get the marriage annulled as quickly as possible when Luke’s elderly great-aunt makes them a proposal. If they stay married for one year, then they’ll both inherit the family estate, worth millions. Soon Peggy is spending weekends in Connecticut, pretending to be the perfect WASP wife, without letting her friends in New York City know anything about the marriage. All of this is complicated even more by burgeoning feelings between Luke and Peggy.
I don’t know why I picked up this book to read. Really, I don’t read romance novels. Usually, romance novels make me want to tear out my hair, they make my eyes spontaneously combust. I don’t like romance novels. That said, I loved Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton! Okay, so maybe sometimes I do like romance novels. I loved the gentle way the author poked a little fun at convention and stuffiness. And it was really interesting to learn that not any one can be a WASP. I always thought it was simply a White Anglo Saxon Protestant, and using those criteria, well, even I was a bit of a WASP. But nooooo, its much more than that. It’s having family from as far back as the Mayflower. And we’re not talking the people on the Mayflower that rigged the sails or scrubbed the deck. We’re talking the actual passengers. I guess since I’m only a generation or two removed from Denmark and I grew up on a farm in Montana shoveling cow manure, I'm not a WASP at all!
I loved the WASP parties, where no one eats the food, the WASP names, Creighton, Bunny, Topher, Liddy. I loved the other characters in the novel, Peggy’s RV dwelling parents, who wear shorts in the winter. Peggy’s buff jock boyfriend, Brock. Her best friend Bex. Everyone in the book was so well characterized, that it was a pleasure to read.
On the very last page, the author lists Five Signs You’re in a Small Connecticut Town. I especially loved number 5, “You move there a decade ago and the locals still call you “the new people”. If I can apply this to where I grew up, then I guess I do get to be a little “WASP-ey”. My in-laws moved to the small Montana town where I’m from in 1972. And to a lot of local folks, they’re still, “those people from California.” I guess there’s a little WASP in us all sometimes!
Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp is just a good fun book. I enjoyed the heck out of it, and I think you will too!