Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (Modern Classics) Paperback – 27 Apr 1978
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|Paperback, 27 Apr 1978||
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Top customer reviews
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.
Recommended (probably) primarily to girls and women, who enjoy period dramas.
It is a blustery spring day and Mrs Thatcham is preparing for the wedding of her eldest daughter, twenty-three-year-old Dolly to the Hon. Owen Bigham, who is eight years Dolly's senior, in the Diplomatic Service, and described by the author as: "...a man who had enormously wide shoulders and a thick neck, like a bull...with a flushed, simple, affectionate face." While Mrs Thatcham tries to organize her servants, family and friends in the hopes that the day will run as smoothly as possible, Dolly hides upstairs in her bedroom drinking rum and wondering if she is making a rather large mistake in marrying the Hon. Owen. And while Dolly is in her room, we meet the wedding guests - a whole range of weird and wonderful characters getting themselves into a variety of rather amusing situations, including one Joseph Patten, a young man of whom Dolly was rather enamoured before she met Owen Bigham - but as this slim book is such a brief one, I hesitate to include any further information at the risk of leaving very little for prospective readers to discover.
This is an enchanting domestic comedy that is elegantly eccentric with a brilliant 'Bloomsbury' quality to it. If you like the writing of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, E.M. Forster and Stella Gibbons - as I do, then you will be likely to enjoy this little gem - as I did; although, I should add that this brief story is not of quite the same calibre as novels by those authors. That said, this amusing, engaging and very attractively presented Persephone novella is one that will be staying on my bookshelves to be re-read and re-enjoyed on future occasions.
Please Note: This book has recently been made into a film, directed by Donald Rice and starring Elizabeth McGovern (from 'Downton Abbey') as Dolly's mother - definitely something I will be looking forward to seeing.
The restricted setting allows for some great set pieces and a whole range of characters, all sharply and realistically drawn and some absolutely hilarious, especially Dolly's mother. There are also moments of sadness and regret which add depth and texture to the story. Although the book is only about eighty pages long, one gets an impression of all the past events which have made the characters who they are.
I absolutely loved this perfect little book.
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The story meanders and there are multiple characters - so many, that it is...Read more