In this witty, touching and funny debut novel, author Laura Dave seems to have her finger on the pulse of a generation of 20-somethings who have trouble dealing with the many choices in their lives.

Emmy Everett sees history repeating itself. Three years earlier, just weeks before her wedding, she left her engagement ring and her sleeping fiance in a highway motel in Rhode Island. Emmy didn't travel far, and every day from the window of the bait and tackle shop where she works she can see the motel where she dumped Matt. Emmy says she's there working on a video documentary project about the waiting wives of offshore fishermen but somehow her plan to talk to just four or five wives has become 107 interviews. Now Emmy is heading home to Manhattan to her brother Josh's wedding where she discovers her beloved older brother, the brilliant doctor whose fiancee, Meryl, remains one of her closest friends, is experiencing the same qualms about his upcoming nuptials that Emmy had three years earlier. And Josh's elaborate wedding is a little more than 24 hours away. Emmy wants to help Josh make the right choice, but is shocked to discover that her childhood hero's cold feet are caused by a secret relationship with a hardworking, single mother who doesn't seem at all like the other woman.

During the next few chaotic days, both Josh and Emmy will have to make some grown-up decisions. Peopled with likable and believable characters (and several odd, interesting ones), London Is the Best City in America will strike a chord with anyone having trouble making important decisions about jobs, relationships, grad school or family. Sweetly and sensitively told, this charming tale's personal journey ends as it should not with a traditional cookie-cutter ending but with both growth and possibilities for Emmy. It's no surprise that the film rights have been optioned by Reese Witherspoon.

Dedra Anderson writes from Colorado.


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