We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Seating Arrangements | [Maggie Shipstead]

Seating Arrangements

Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn's wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne's sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Maggie Shipstead's stunning debut novel, Seating Arrangements is an irresistible social satire that is also an unforgettable meditation on the persistence of hope, the yearning for connection, and the promise of enduring love.

Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn's wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne's sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father's oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson's best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne's beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life.

Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead's deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, love and its obligations, and the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice.

©2012 Maggie Shipstead (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Maggie Shipstead is an outrageously gifted writer, and her assured first novel, Seating Arrangements, is by turns hilarious and deeply moving." (Richard Russo, author of That Old Cape Magic )

"Seating Arrangements is bursting with perfectly observed characters and unforgettable scenes. This gorgeous, wise, funny, sprawling novel about family, fidelity, and social class, is the best book I've read in ages." (Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine)

"A pitch-perfect debut from a master storyteller, Seating Arrangements is a rich and deep work: a smart, consuming novel that manages also to be delightfully funny. A romp of a book, with whales and weddings and wealth, it is, at its heart, a warning against the empty seductions of status and exclusivity." (Justin Torres, author of We the Animals)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (137 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
3.2 (116 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (12)
Story
3.5 (119 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    annimation 10-06-14
    annimation 10-06-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow in parts, but an interesting story!"
    What other book might you compare Seating Arrangements to and why?

    The characters are a lot like Gossip Girl characters (aka rich, beautiful, and generally unsympathetic), although the writing style is very different.


    What three words best describe Arthur Morey’s performance?

    I know the characters are supposed to be annoying, but it would be nice if he didn't make the voices sound *quite* so irritating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-03-14
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-03-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trite, predictable, over the top PC"
    Would you try another book from Maggie Shipstead and/or Arthur Morey?

    Disliked the book, love Arthur Morey


    Would you recommend Seating Arrangements to your friends? Why or why not?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The headline says it all; even Arthur Morey (whom I love) couldn't salvage this one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robin PENNINGTON, NJ, United States 11-08-13
    robin PENNINGTON, NJ, United States 11-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fun read, a wonderful listen!"
    Where does Seating Arrangements rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I wish there were more well written books like Seating Arrangements, in that at the same time that it was upbeat, positive, and didn't make me feel depressed through out about horribly dysfunctional characters that so many books seems to have, it left me feeling happy about the whole experience....what a pleasure! If anyone can suggest other books like this, please feel free to contact me!


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best about this story was that the characters were basically functional, & the story was fun and well written.


    What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

    I listened to the book quite a while ago, so all I remember is that his performance was outstanding.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 09-10-13
    Deborah 09-10-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No likeable characters"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Ever since Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, there has been an onslaught of novels in which there is not a single likeable character, or even one with whom the reader can sympathize. I always finish books, even poorly written ones, but I can't bear to listen to Seating Arrangements any longer. There are just better things to do in life than to listen to a thread of a story about a bunch of shallow, narcissistic people. The writing is OK, perhaps carried by the good reading performance, but the plot is minimal and the characters boring and self-centered. Even an interesting villain would make this a better work.


    Has Seating Arrangements turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, because other writers do it better.


    What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

    His voice is strong, deep and convincing -- the only thing about this book I liked.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Seating Arrangements?

    There isn't enough here to cut, but perhaps the dirty old man sex scenes or the pathetic daughter craving love in any form scenes. It's just so depressing and tawdry.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sorry I bought this. The advertising reviews were grossly misleading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 03-14-13
    Janet 03-14-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Liked it a lot!"

    Seating Arrangements was a really good book about family dynamics and relationships. I'm sure most people could relate to at least some of the characters. It helps to remind us that constantly striving for more is not the route to happiness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shfn 12-10-12
    shfn 12-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Great!"
    Any additional comments?

    Witty and insightful satire, characters I enjoyed following, wonderful writing. The narration fit the book well. Overall, a delightful, entertaining book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vjutur Newark, NJ, United States 10-23-12
    vjutur Newark, NJ, United States 10-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Test Review - only for tech testing"

    this is nothing but a test and shall not go online at any point and if it does please ignore

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Sisters, OR, United States 09-06-12
    Barbara Sisters, OR, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, it's too slow and tedious


    What was most disappointing about Maggie Shipstead’s story?

    Nobody goes anywhere or develops and learns anything


    Did Arthur Morey do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes but his characters were not particularly interesting


    Did Seating Arrangements inspire you to do anything?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I won't read one of hers again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alison glen allen, VA, United States 07-20-12
    alison glen allen, VA, United States 07-20-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best seller? Really?"

    Very disappointed. Why choose a man to read this story? Why choose a man with no emotion to read this story? Never got "into" the characters -- didn't really care what happened to them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KLVELLIS Texas 07-11-12
    KLVELLIS Texas 07-11-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    Would you try another book from Maggie Shipstead and/or Arthur Morey?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Maggie Shipstead’s story?

    This was the most boring, slow moving book I have purchased. I have two hours left and honestly don't feel like I can get through it. The characters are unlikable-I could care less what happens to any of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Purchase if you need something to put you to sleep. If you are looking for a book with a good story line and great characters-pass it by.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.