Annette Christie gives a fun Groundhog Day twist to a classic wedding-weekend story in her warm, insightful debut novel, The Rehearsals. After 12 years together, college sweethearts Megan Givens and Tom Prescott are gathering their families and friends, and tying the knot. But after a rehearsal dinner where the secrets flow as freely as the champagne, Megan and Tom decide to call off the wedding. Unfortunately, both of them wake up the next morning trapped in a time loop, with no clue about how to get unstuck--or what they'll do if their wedding day ever actually dawns.
Christie's snappy narration alternates between Tom's and Megan's perspectives, giving readers deep insight into Megan's scrappy, drama-filled Montana family and Tom's ice-cold, wealthy East Coast upbringing. Both of them recall their time together at Harvard (and their mutual connections to Tom's roommate, Leo), their early years in New York and the ripple effects of key moments in their relationship. Megan, both a planner and a pleaser, tries every strategy she can think of to get them out of the time loop, but each set of decisions lands her back in her hotel bed. Along the way, she and Tom are forced to reflect on the patterns and decisions that led to that first disastrous rehearsal, and consider what they'd do differently if they (ever) get the opportunity.
Funny, romantic and surprisingly thought-provoking, The Rehearsals is both a highly enjoyable romp and a poignant meditation on love and second chances. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams