Cover image for Midnight champagne : a novel
Midnight champagne : a novel
Ansay, A. Manette.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [1999]

Physical Description:
225 pages ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
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April Liesgang and Caleb Shannon have known each other for just three short months, so their Valentine's Day wedding at a chapel near the shores of Lake Michigan has both families -- hers from Wisconsin, his from Tennessee -- in an uproar. As the festivities unfold (and the cash bar opens), everyone has an opinion and a lively prediction about April and Caleb's union -- each the reflection of a different marital experience.

Meanwhile, at the nearby Hideaway Lodge, a domestic quarrel ends in tragedy. As April and Caleb's life together begins full of promise, death parts another man and woman in angry violence; as the two stories gradually intersect, their juxtaposition explores the tangled roots of vulnerability and desire.

By the time the last polka has been danced and the bouquet tossed, Midnight Champagne has cast an extraordinary, haunting spell. From its opening epigraph from Chekhov -- "If you fear loneliness, then marriage is not for you" -- to its final moments in the honeymoon suite, this wonderful novel weaves tenderness and fury, longing and betrayal into a startling, fresh tapestry of love in all its paradox and power.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When the Great Lakes Chapel and Hideaway Lodge had a cancellation on Valentine's Day, April and Caleb decided to have a big wedding after all. Formerly a house of ill repute, the tacky lodge is a magnet for trouble, and sure enough the record-breaking blizzard that whips up as the guests arrive creates an aura of impending disaster. Add to that the mischief of teenage cousins, the awkward presence of April's ex-boyfriend and a mysterious stranger, April's father's disapproval and his mother's worry over not having found her penny. Nearly every day for the past 19 years, Hilda has found a penny, and on the days that she did not, someone died. Ansay, author of River Angel (1998) and a writer of lissome lyricism and emotional acuity, is a superb storyteller with a mystical bent and an affectionate sense of humor. As the wedding-from-hell staggers toward its midnight conclusion, Ansay projects a kaleidoscopic view of marriage and family, gently suggesting that kindness is the surest balm. --Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

In her newest work, Ansay (River Angel, LJ 12/97) puts us in the middle of a Valentine's Day wedding party at a kitschy wedding chapel and theme motel in rural Wisconsin. Once rumored to be a brothel, the motel has undergone an overzealous redecorating that hasn't improved its reputation. Outside a blizzard is raging, trapping even the bride's local relatives and creating a bonanza at the cash bar. Meanwhile, a domestic quarrel in a motel room goes awry, and a nervous stranger crashes the wedding supper. When some of the younger wedding guests investigate the motel, they find out more than they bargained for. Ansay flirts dangerously with sitcom-like stereotypesÄthe bride's deadpan mother, her perfect mother-in-law, her rotten little sister, even a couple of ghostsÄbut (except for the polka band) she keeps them from going over the top. By deftly maneuvering inside the heads of her characters, she succinctly informs us of family history. The combination of dry Midwestern wit with a light touch of the Gothic makes for hilarious reading. Recommended for popular fiction collections.ÄReba Leiding, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Ceremonyp. 1
Receptionp. 43
Supperp. 81
Dancep. 129
Bouquet Tossp. 163
Midnight Champagnep. 201