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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 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, death parts another man and woman in angry violence—and 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 spell. From the novel's opening epigraph from Chekhov—"If you fear loneliness, then marriage is not for you"—to its final moments in the honeymoon suite, A. Manette Ansay weaves tenderness and fury, passion and wonder into a startling tapestry of love in all its paradox and power.
Harper Perennial, 9780380729753, 240pp.
Publication Date: July 3, 2000
About the Author
A. Manette Ansay is the author of eight books, including Vinegar Hill, Midnight Champagne (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Blue Water. She has received the Pushcart Prize, two Great Lakes Book Awards, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of Miami.