Margot Mifflin
November 29, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Swine's Wedding

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Daniel Evan Weiss
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Most couples fight about money and guests when planning a wedding; Allison Pennybaker and Solomon Beneviste lock horns over nothing less than the Spanish Inquisition as they choose china and rings. This mixed-faith couple become their mothers’ pawns in a funny but ultimately macabre struggle for control of their ceremony, where Jewish and Christian tolerance is sorely tested. Daniel Evan Weiss (The Roaches Have No King) conjures winningly flawed characters, especially in the pertly WASPy Pennybaker and her sardonic future mother-in-law, whose juxtaposed diary entries propel The Swine’s Wedding. Mrs. Beneviste’s research into her Jewish family’s persecution during the Inquisition provides a harrowing subtext to the engagement, but in the end, Weiss forces the drama with a gruesome and untenable tragedy. Still, this tragicomedy is a grippingly ironic account of how, in the words of Pennybaker, ”religion makes normal people crazy.” A-

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