In Mergers and Acquisitions, Cate Doty's first book, she gives readers a compelling, often irreverent insider's tour of her years writing wedding announcements for the New York Times. Along the way, she muses on the social and political implications of the weddings she covered, shares a few juicy anecdotes (without naming names), and reflects on her journey from hapless girlfriend to contented singleton to (eventually) a woman who suspects she might have found lifelong love.
Doty begins her story with her early days on the Times wedding desk, fielding the ramped-up emotions of politicians and actors, consultants and celebrities, as she fact-checked the myriad details of high-profile relationships. Though she changes names and identifying details, the archetypes are recognizable: the self-important senator, the powerhouse event planner, the heiress, the lawyers. She turns a critical eye on the WASP-dominated, glitzy content of the Times wedding section, acknowledging its limits and self-importance while admitting that, for a wedding obsessive, this job was the most fun she could get paid to have.
As Doty earns her stripes as a wedding reporter, she also embarks on a relationship with Michael, a colleague at the Times. Still cautious after a previous failed romance, Doty nevertheless begins to believe this guy might be "the one." With self-deprecating wit, wry humor and a keen eye for details both ridiculous and heartwarming, Mergers and Acquisitions is a snapshot of a particular era in both journalism and the wedding industry, as well as a thoughtful meditation on love itself. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams