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Cheerful Weather for the Wedding Paperback – 6 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd; New edition edition (6 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155271
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.2 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,127,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Suzie on 2 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh dear, I seem to be in the minority here! Until now I have loved all of the Persephone republications that I have read, but I didn't care so much for this short novella.

The idea of a bride (Dolly Thatcham) who really shouldn't be marrying the man she is about to wed is interesting, but we don't actually meet Dolly until about halfway through the book. After this point the `story' becomes more absorbing and there is much to glean from beneath the surface that is merely hinted at. Until then though we are presented with an array of people, mainly relatives who have gathered at the house before the wedding, most of whom feel more like caricatures than real people. The mother of the bride is exaggeratedly irritating, but she does at least provide moments of amusement and is one of the few characters you feel you are beginning to know. The others are more like passing strangers apart from Dolly, and the rather strange Joseph who had been close to her the previous summer before she met Owen and who, after the wedding, when the bride and groom have left, makes a startling revelation. That it doesn't seem possible in terms of timing and hence doesn't ring true makes its inclusion all the more puzzling.

Apart from some descriptive passages, I found the writing style uninspiring, but the main cause of my disappointment was, I think, the characters. Nevertheless, I'm pleased I read it, but I wouldn't rush to recommend it. There are plenty of other Persephone gems that are, in view, more endearing and worthwhile - the short story collection Good Evening, Mrs Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes, for instance, or Someone at a Distance, or Miss Buncle's Book, a delight from start to finish.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By G. Dutton on 5 July 2008
Format: Paperback
The 'midget of a village woman, like a mosquito' who pants and grunts around setting up the after-wedding tea may make this comment in passing, but in this short novel it is only too apparent that the marriage between Dolly Thatcham and Owen Bigham is indeed a totally mistaken idea. Bearing a resemblance to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, the book takes the reader through the day of the wedding, the before and after - notably missing out the wedding itself. We are sucked into a clamouring household - each individual bearing their own preoccupations with an edginess typical of a 'big day'. That alone made me want to run in any and every other direction. The bride's mother, Mrs Thatcham has a birdlike nervousness and a prattling stupidity that is in direct contrast to her daughter's languid gloom and inability to make her voice heard. It is only 119 pages but it is exhausting in it's heightened emotions and lack of peace. For there is another man, and the other man loves Dolly too - although neither have ever said it and both seem too stupified to say it now, or even consider it worth saying. Joseph runs to find her as a hammer in his head bangs out 'stop the wedding' over and over again, but when he does find Dolly (after a comedy of just missing her in each room in the house) she is preoccupied with covering up the ink she has spilled over her dress and says shortly 'you can tell me anything you like afterwards'. Julia Strachey's writing is stunning. Her characterisation is entirely unique, yet describes everything in a way that is so recognisable you wonder how you've never seen it that way before.Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Simon Thomas VINE VOICE on 28 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved every second! This short novel (120pp) all takes place on the wedding day of Dolly and Owen. And it's very, very funny. There is a semi-serious romance storyline through the centre of it (should Dolly be marrying Owen? Will they actually get married?) but it is the host of secondary characters which make this novel (or perhaps novella?) so amusing. My favourites are brothers Robert and Tom - the latter spends the entire novel trying to persuade the former to change his emerald-coloured socks: "Robert, your mother would desire you to go upstairs instantly to take off those bounder's socks, Robert, and to change into a respectable pair. Will you go, Robert?" He is distraught lest their schoolfellows - 'men from Rugby' - be at the wedding and witness this calamatous social faux pas. Robert's iterated response is "Go and put your head in a bag." I kept hoping these two would crop up, even though they essentially said the same thing every time they appeared, it was done so amusingly and accurately that I could have read pages of Tom's serious monotone and Robert's complete lack of care.

And then there's dotty Nellie-from-the-village, one of the 'help':

"The gentleman that come to see about the hot pipes out in the lobby, said to me, ' have two of my own,' he said, 'what are both of them big strapping great boys by now. And oh... good golly! - what devils and demons they do be!' he said. 'Well,' I said to him, 'my son Teddy is exactly the very same thing over again,' I said. 'All the time this cigarette-smoking, they pointed boots, and all of it, why, devils and demons isn't in it with such as they are,' I said. No. Very decidedly not!
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