Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but Stunning, 28 Aug 2009
This review is from: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (Persephone Classics) (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!"

The whole family, and especially servants, are very funny characters - slightly ridiculous, but not too exaggerated as to not ring true. I suppose that's why the humour is so good - rooted in the actual. Sort of a less-hyperbolic PG Wodehouse, perhaps. Crossed with Virginia Woolf.

If you're wavering on Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, I encourage you to give it a go I think it's entered my Top Five Persephone Books, and since I've read all or part of over thirty, that's not bad at all.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Mar 2010 09:34:27 GMT
Was wondering which others of the Persephone classics you could recommend. The only other I have read ( and thoroughly enjoyed) is Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2011 07:51:05 BDT
Shame you didn't get a reply. I've just ordered Little Boy Lost (Persephone Classics) which was an amazon recommendation - the reviews are excellent. That's the best way to choose I think, by reading them all!
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