Read ➵ We Are Gathered Author Jamie Weisman – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk

We Are Gathered A Big Hearted And Clear Eyed Story Of Life S Biggest Choices Who To Love And How Best To Love Them Compulsively Readable And Oh So Worth The Read Heather Harpham, Author Of Happiness The Crooked Little Road To Semi Ever AfterYOU ARE INVITEDTo The Wedding Of Elizabeth And Hank But The Bride And Groom Are Beside The Point Because, On This Hot Atlanta Afternoon, The People Of The Hour Are The Wedding S Adoring, Envious, Resentful, Hilarious Guests Among Them, Carla, Elizabeth S Quick Witted, Ugly Duckling Childhood Best Friend Turned Hollywood Film Scout With A Jaundiced View On Life And Especially On Weddings Elizabeth S Great Aunt Rachel, Who Is Navigating A No Man S Land Between Cultures And Identities Elizabeth S Wheelchair Bound Grandfather Albert, Who Considers His Legacy As A Man In The Boardroom, But Mostly In The Bedroom And Annette, The Mother Of The Bride, Reminded Now Of Her Youthful Indiscretions In Love Tender And Bitingly Funny, We Are Gathered Pulls You In And Carries You Through A Dysfunctional, Loving, Witty, Unforgettable World And Family It Is A Not To Be Missed Debut From A Writer To Watch Caroline Leavitt

10 thoughts on “We Are Gathered

  1. says:

    Friends and family take center stage at an outdoor wedding in Atlanta, Georgia, on a very hot day Some guests are sweating Bach cello suite is playing in the background the bride and groom walk down the aisle, the music stops, and everything is quiet In no time at all, everyone is clapping the ceremony is over It s not the wedding itself even with 18 Bridesmaids or Bride Groom that linger in our thoughts when this book comes to an end For me one of the strongest themes that stood Friends and family take center stage at an outdoor wedding in Atlanta, Georgia, on a very hot day Some guests are sweating Bach cello suite is playing in the background the bride and groom walk down the aisle, the music stops, and everything is quiet In no time at all, everyone is clapping the ceremony is over It s not the wedding itself even with 18 Bridesmaids or Bride Groom that linger in our thoughts when this book comes to an end For me one of the strongest themes that stood out was how unattractive people are targets for cruelty Our society has an ugly obsession with beauty.Author Jamie Weisman cracks open our emotions quite effectively with a clan of characters letting us hear the little voice speaking to them inside their heads.their unfulfilled dreams, their apathetic thoughts, their secrets, hopes, and silent wishes There s plenty of humor and a wide variety of characters but the deeper issues are sooooo real..soooo powerful..so relevant I think I love Jamie Weisman for what she created in this novel Here are a couple of excerpts that definitely resonated with me They gave Sleeping Beauty beauty and song, and then kept her from dying from poison I used to wonder what that third gift would have been if it hadn t been used to mitigate Maleficent s curse probably grace No needs for brains in a Disney princess I dream that it will be empathy, not beauty, that will stir our souls and make us fall stupidly in love After all, there is muchthat is imperfect than is perfect in this old world Many thanks to my friend Bonnie Brody I recommend reading her review It s outstanding and touching

  2. says:

    Welcome to the wedding Elizabeth Gottlieb and Hank Jackson are getting married in Elizabeth s back yard One might suppose that this novel would be about the bride and groom along with the goings on at the celebration Well, part of it is, but only circumstantially The bulk of the novel is about the guests, the people who are in attendance In many ways this book is structured like Elizabeth Strout s Olive Kitteridge , narratives about different people who inter connect in some way with with Welcome to the wedding Elizabeth Gottlieb and Hank Jackson are getting married in Elizabeth s back yard One might suppose that this novel would be about the bride and groom along with the goings on at the celebration Well, part of it is, but only circumstantially The bulk of the novel is about the guests, the people who are in attendance In many ways this book is structured like Elizabeth Strout s Olive Kitteridge , narratives about different people who inter connect in some way with with each other and the happy couple.Every one of the characters caught and held my interest and the characterizations were excellent As I read this book, I felt like I knew every major character that the author described Jamie Weisman has a perspicaciousness that takes the larger and smaller aspects of each character into account Be it a quirk, a manner of laughing, a small glimmer of the past, or a sense of place relevant to the wedding, the author gets it She.gets.it All the personal and individual aspects that she uses to describe each of the the guests are not only relevant, but necessary The book starts out with Carla, Eizabeth s high achieving friend and high school valedictorian who was shunned all her life because of her large port cherry birth mark that covers much of her face Now she is the assistant to a famous film star and others, including Elizabeth, have tried to get to him through her Carla could cover her birth mark if she chose After all, she works with the best make up artists in the world, but she chooses not to She wears it as a banner, as a reminder to herself and everyone else of who she was, how she was treated, and what she s now become Self inflicted pain is so much easier to bear than the slings and arrows that others deliver Two guests sit in wheel chairs Albert is Elizabeth s grandfather, once rich and powerful and now, due to a series of strokes, reduced to an old man who can barely stay awake and must depend on others for all his essential needs Jeffrey has muscular dystrophy for which there is no cure He has lived well past his predicted life span and is not that much younger than Elizabeth His mother has devoted her life to him, perhaps to the extent of not giving her other two children or her husband their fair share She says to herself, I know it is terrible to admit this, but part of me is always with Jeffrey He is the only thing in the world that completely needs me, and there will be a day when that need is gone Jack Chandler, a poor kid from North Carolina, once roomed with Elizabeth s father and two other Jewish men in college Jack had never even seen a Jew prior to this He wasn t prepared for college and it was through the help of Josh Gottlieb s tutoring that he graduated He ended up going to Vietnam and, upon returning home, struggled with drugs, unemployment and probably PTSD before he was able to find himself His connection with the Gottliebs runs deep on many levels Steven is 31 years old and lives at home He finished medical at the head of his class but had his first psychotic break while in school He no longer remembers the basics he learned and struggles to perform the simple activities of daily living He deals with paranoia, hallucinations mood disturbances, and delusions on a daily basis He is on a cocktail of psychotropic drugs but nothing seems to help He lives in persistent sorrow, this certainty that happiness is not for me, not for anyone, really He thinks about how he was on the way to having it all , becoming a cardiac thoracic surgeon, only to have it all halted by the onset of his mental illness.These are only some of the guests at the wedding Each one is fascinating, even if they are unlikable Ms Weisman segues from one chapter to the next virtually seamlessly and she has that very rare gift of being able to look deeply into the human soul The ending of this novel brought tears to my eyes and I don t cry easily I know this book will make it to my top ten of the year Thank you Ms Weisman

  3. says:

    sadly, I d peg this as the worst book I ve read so far this year followed closely or perhaps eclipsed by my other current read We are forced to sit through a wedding from the points of view of various attendees as they reflect on the nuptials as well as their lives to this point most interesting story came from a holocaust survivor, but the first one is what really turned me off to the book from the outset A girl bridesmaid with a port wine stain birthmark spends her time fantasizing abo sadly, I d peg this as the worst book I ve read so far this year followed closely or perhaps eclipsed by my other current read We are forced to sit through a wedding from the points of view of various attendees as they reflect on the nuptials as well as their lives to this point most interesting story came from a holocaust survivor, but the first one is what really turned me off to the book from the outset A girl bridesmaid with a port wine stain birthmark spends her time fantasizing about how to recast the people in her life into movies where they get their karma kickbacks for the way they ve treated her The whole thung just seemed so self indulgent and useless I hesitate to give 1 star ratings so I m just going to abstain, but if you read this far you know where I stand

  4. says:

    I think there were only a couple of times that I actually could tell who was talking and what they were going on about This was a very confusing book and I m not sure where the plot was.I liked the idea of the story but the execution left me eager to finish and still not understanding what the point was.

  5. says:

    If you think We Are Gathered by Jamie Weisman is a soppy or romanticized novel about the perfect wedding you are wrong No, Jamie Weisman s amazing novel is about the people who have been invited to the wedding, friends of the bride or the bride s family Their stories are told one by one, each darker andsoul wrenching than the previous, until I was almost fearful to read the last entry But that was the story of True Love not the bride and groom s true love story, but that of a haunted e If you think We Are Gathered by Jamie Weisman is a soppy or romanticized novel about the perfect wedding you are wrong No, Jamie Weisman s amazing novel is about the people who have been invited to the wedding, friends of the bride or the bride s family Their stories are told one by one, each darker andsoul wrenching than the previous, until I was almost fearful to read the last entry But that was the story of True Love not the bride and groom s true love story, but that of a haunted elderly lady and the broken man who saves her.The bride s father is a ruthless man Every man wanted Ida, but I was the one who got her, he thinks about his wife A man is judged by the woman with him, and Ida s beauty made mepowerful A stroke leaves him unable to communicate as he watches his business crumble and his daughter marry a non Jew He sees life as a brutal and exhausting gallop through a desert populated by predators and parasites A mother s life work is to care for her son who was born with Muscular Dystrophy He once spent a week at a camp where the bride was a counselor.A woman wears her birthmark proudly although she resents not having been born beautiful There is no justice in this world, she begins, despairing at the bride s beauty What am I without my birthmark she questions, dismissing the makeup that can make her look perfect.A college roommate of the bride s father has drifted in and out of addiction Drafted during Vietnam, he didn t love my life enough to make it worth avoiding the war People who go to war are different from everyone else, he thinks.A man who once got the bride drunk and didn t take advantage of her, but also did not protect her from the other frats, was going to be a heart surgeon before he had a breakdown The bride disdains him He wanders from the ceremony.An elderly lady survived the Holocaust but can t forget the loved ones who did not She married a kind man and had a decent life, but is still haunted by the past.Weisman has written so many sentences and pages that I fell in love with and which I wanted to read out loud to anyone in earshot.I loved the mother of the bride s musings on a life given to her family My friend Rita once said that your children come to you perfect, and the best you can hope for is not to allow too much damage, from yourself first and foremost, and then from the world I shuddered at that line It rang true I had the same thought when our son was a preschooler, an awareness of all the scars life would lay on his unblemished soul and skin moving me to tears The mother thinks, there are limitations and childhood wounds which we parents bring with us, inadequacies, and actions that result in regrets They intend to have it all, careers, families, creativity, at least for the lucky few who can afford it, she thinks The bride appears to be one of those lucky ones I am grateful to have won the book on FridayFreebie on The Quivering Pen blog by author David Abrams

  6. says:

    Most people will look at the title and assume the story will be the bride narrating the story of her wedding, how she met her groom etc., etc The book is actually a narration by a variety of the wedding guests who are loosely intertwine their stories Most know Elizabeth the bride, several are friends of her parents A bridesmaid who is disfigured by a port wine birthmark that grew up on the fringe of Elizabeth s crowd is probably the vignette that sticks with me most Since Elizabeth and her f Most people will look at the title and assume the story will be the bride narrating the story of her wedding, how she met her groom etc., etc The book is actually a narration by a variety of the wedding guests who are loosely intertwine their stories Most know Elizabeth the bride, several are friends of her parents A bridesmaid who is disfigured by a port wine birthmark that grew up on the fringe of Elizabeth s crowd is probably the vignette that sticks with me most Since Elizabeth and her family are Jewish there are relatives who survived WWII and the holocaust and even the mother of the bride gives a viewpoint I liked the way the tales were separate yet linked together I received an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review

  7. says:

    The premise of the story grabbed me immediately I couldn t wait to read what promised to be a story of love, living well, nutty friends and relations the typical wedding, no matter where you are Weisman is an exceptional writer fantastically clever, adroit with a phrase, skilled at depicting anguish and wonder I bet she writes fantastic short stories, flash fiction, perhaps has a terrific blog Unfortunately, this novel does not showcase her burgeoning talent I so wanted to like it, s The premise of the story grabbed me immediately I couldn t wait to read what promised to be a story of love, living well, nutty friends and relations the typical wedding, no matter where you are Weisman is an exceptional writer fantastically clever, adroit with a phrase, skilled at depicting anguish and wonder I bet she writes fantastic short stories, flash fiction, perhaps has a terrific blog Unfortunately, this novel does not showcase her burgeoning talent I so wanted to like it, settled down with a cup of tea to enjoy an intricate, complex froth of a wedding that is supposed to be perfect and ultimately is, but not for the reasons anyone might think What I got was drone Drone and drone and misery anddrone I wanted to read about the wedding, see what the author constructed between the beautiful, perfect bride and her decidedly imperfect friend I pressed forward, figuring that a little backstory never hurt anyone, but it kept on going so long that I forgot what the story was and no longer cared I did not finish this book Maybe I m not the target audience or maybe I am and the way that the story was told by this magnificent writer did not work for me Truly, it doesn t matter I wish her well wish her a second novel that allows her to strut her lyrical prose, wonderful way of describing people and setting, in the service of a ripping good story

  8. says:

    Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for an early review copy of We Are gathered by Jamie Weisman, which will publish June 5, 2018 All thoughts are my own.Writing 4 5 Plot 3 5 Characters 4 5Although sold as a novel, this is really a set of interconnected stories, each an interior monologue of one of the guests at the lavish wedding of Elizabeth Gottlieb in Atlanta, Georgia.The storytellers or thinkers range from mother of the bride, to bridesmaids, to family and friends I Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for an early review copy of We Are gathered by Jamie Weisman, which will publish June 5, 2018 All thoughts are my own.Writing 4 5 Plot 3 5 Characters 4 5Although sold as a novel, this is really a set of interconnected stories, each an interior monologue of one of the guests at the lavish wedding of Elizabeth Gottlieb in Atlanta, Georgia.The storytellers or thinkers range from mother of the bride, to bridesmaids, to family and friends I wouldn t call it a happy book most of the narrators face or have faced some heavy challenges a large port wine facial birthmark, clinical depression, a child with muscular dystrophy, a stroke, the aftermath of being a holocaust survivor Still, as the characters bounce their thoughts off the wedding of a young woman who has led a completely charmed life, they reflect, they elaborate carefully constructed life philosophies, they rail against injustice, and they opine about love in all its myriad forms While I missed the coherence and longer narrative arc of a novel, I enjoyed the insight that the narrators produced in their conscious thought stream The author is a dermatologist from Atlanta and many of these stories revolve around doctors, medical conditions, and the way people cope with illness or disability.I found the text long winded at times, but the writing was good and I highlighted many sections that made me think overall an interesting read

  9. says:

    Summer Bingo Set in the state where you live Georgia Each of these connected stories is narrated by a different character, so we get to see the big picture from many perspectives I love this technique The cast is really diverse, as are their stories, and the writing is beautiful Highly recommend.

  10. says:

    Salvation Don t trust anyone, Elizabeth, who has never yearned for it It is the fundament of all religion and philosophy, to be delivered and saved from fear, meaninglessness, the vulnerability of the body, the loss of loved ones, and our own inevitable deaths Not nice thoughts on a wedding day, but death and our need for salvation are the two basic facts of human life, and everything else, our desires, our hobbies my painting, your horseback riding, great books, golf games, and, above all Salvation Don t trust anyone, Elizabeth, who has never yearned for it It is the fundament of all religion and philosophy, to be delivered and saved from fear, meaninglessness, the vulnerability of the body, the loss of loved ones, and our own inevitable deaths Not nice thoughts on a wedding day, but death and our need for salvation are the two basic facts of human life, and everything else, our desires, our hobbies my painting, your horseback riding, great books, golf games, and, above all else, love are the necessary distractions that enable us to live Pick your distractions well, Elizabeth, they will define your life A wedding is taking place in late spring between an upper class, Jewish young woman and a Protestant young man Extended family gather from far and wide to join in the celebration As they walk into the yard, and take their seats to await the festivities, they turn contemplative as they compare their road traveled with the one Elizabeth is about to embark onWe Are Gatheredis really a collection of short stories, loosely themed around the common element of Elizabeth Each chapter has a different narrator her grandfather, her mother, her mother s friend, her birth marked friend she has hung out with growing up, etc There is very little in the way of plot to be found here We share in musings both regrets and thankfulness Weisman s prose carries the day She has a way of showcasing character studies in a way that has brought each point of view vividly to light I didn t think I would particularly like this read after the first chapterit s one of the weaker onesso stick with it I m glad I did Given 4 stars or a rating of Excellent Recommended to anyone who likes character driven novels

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