Le Mariage by Diane Johnson read by Suzanne Toren

Yes, this is about a French woman who is preparing to be married, about the dozens of chores, duties, invitations, financial arrangements, foods, realtors, contracts and miscommunications fringing the prolonged event called a ‘wedding’. But it is more about the bureaucracy of French life, the stiff protocols, the delicate rules of engagement, the intricacies of public manners and traditions, and the entire merde-ridden fantasy of a plan of the couple.

It is, in short, about the beginning of one couple at the intersection of many others, slowly or not so slowly decomposing, when this couple is located in France, at a time when Americans were even less popular than usual….

Americans weren’t popular this season… The U.S. was embarked on a rescue mission in the Balkans that was seen by the French as a barely submerged drive for world domination…

Tim, the American reporter on the brink of marrying a Parisian woman who buys things in the Pouc, the flea-market, and sells them at high prices to decorators et al., is accused of his intrusive, neo-colonialist birthplace at a party where he meets another American ex-patriate, Clara, the beautiful, vulnerable, devoted wife of a rich, vulgar Hollywood director.