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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2014
Having read The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price I was delighted to discover the sequel and I enjoyed it just as much. It had the same gentle humour, even though some might consider it dark humour with the corpse! Wilfred is reading Socrates to see if it can help him and has reached B in the dictionary. From now on if I hear Stanley Baldwin mentioned I'll think of Wilfred!
We find out what happens with Grace and other characters whilst enjoying descriptions of London and the Welsh countryside. In a calm, still way we're guided through their lives and emotions. I was left wondering if the modern world has improved the way we cope with life - or not! I hope this author continues writing.
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on 3 December 2013
This is a wonderful continuation of a story of a rural community in 1920s Wales, the relationships, loves, life and death. Written beautifully and in an almost style of days gone by. A very comforting read, perfect and ready to be made into a TV series. I can just see the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire and the grey cold sea.

Wendy Jones herself is from Wales and clearly knows her subject matter well. The area and characters mean a lot to her and this, along with a sure and great writing style, insure this is a worthwhile read, looking to times gone by, the different pace and space this allowed.
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on 13 October 2013
This is one of those books that finish all too soon! Wendy Jones gives a delicate and sharp observation of us fellow humans, with much love and forgivings to our shortcomings. The story opens wonderfully and keeps developing as you read along and each sentence is beautifully shaped. I loved this as I loved Jones' first book on Wilfred Price - may there be more soon!
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on 5 September 2016
This is such an incredibly sophisticated book . The era is so cleverly captivated . The characters personalities are intricately weaved together through their lives. This book would make a funny and compelling period drama. I read this book during my summer break and I could not put it down. I am so looking forward to the sequel.
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on 14 October 2013
I loved this book.Once again I was nearly late for work as I couldnt put it down. The sense of place and time were totally involving. Unknown details about the suffragette movement were included in an informative and natural way. From the joyous title to the great ending the continuing story of Wilfred Price delighted and enthralled me.
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VINE VOICEon 4 January 2014
Wilfred Price is still the purveyor of superior funerals in Narbeth. It is now 1926 and Wilfred has married again to Flora who he is in love with most deeply.

His past painful marriage to Grace is a memory as she has fled to London, unwanted by her family and with a secret to hide. However the binds that tie Grace to Narbeth are strong, even whilst in London. It seems she has only one choice but to return to Narbeth. Will her presence upset Wilfred and Flora's wedded bliss?

Whilst Grace has been away, life has changed for Wilfred, he is learning every day not just from reading the dictionary, he has completed A and is now on B but from being married. While he learnt everything about funerals and being the purveyor of superior ones from Mr Auden, he has no one to learn about marriage from. He wants to take it gently with Flora as he knows that perhaps she does not love him as much as he loves her. When a union between them results in tragedy, it seems that perhaps Flora is lost to another world.

Wilfred, conducting himself as a gentleman as much as he can, carries on. He wants to fight for his family and marriage and knows he must provide. He starts up his wallpaper shop, only to come unstuck with it in more ways than one. The gentle humour portrayed here is in contrast to some of the tragedy that is going on. This gives the book its wonderful human frailty quality. However, Wilfred believes in independence and he is content to teach his wife to drive so she can visit her mother, he wants to know her opinion on matters and involve them both in a rich and wonderful life together.

This glimpse of female emancipation far away in the Welsh countryside is reinforced by Grace and her exposure to the Suffragettes, the movement did not cease, after The Great War had ended. Grace starts to see them as the future, but her dark secret has followed her from Narbeth and she cannot accept help from these women. Can she?

This book is rich in character and landscape, it is a story that just travels along with no twists or turns but gives plenty to think about along the way. It is not just Wilfred who is philosophising, as a reader you do the same about the situations the characters are in. A sign of a good book when you care about the characters.

You can read this book without having read Wendy Jones The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals. However to get much more out of this book and that one, I would highly recommend reading it first and then moving on to this novel. You will be pleased that you just for a while, spent some time with Wilfred Price.
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on 13 May 2016
The World is a Wedding by Wendy Jones is the follow-up to her first novel, ‘The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals’ and picks up where that first book ends. I’ve not read the first book but I didn’t feel I was missing out or failing to follow the plot by not having previously ‘met’ Wifred and his ex-wife Grace.

The book is set in Narberth, Wales and in central London and the year is 1925. When the book begins, Wilfred is thinking about what an extraordinarily lucky fellow he is to have a good business, to have just married his sweetheart Flora Myfanwy and to have had a second chance after divorcing Grace. It will be some time before readers will get the full low-down on what went wrong with their marriage, and I’m not sure how much of Grace’s trials were revealed in the first book.

Wilfred and Grace never consummated their marriage and Wilfred is so full of the wonder of ‘relations’ with the beautiful Flora Myfanwy, that he has to take extreme mental precautions to avoid becoming overly excited when in bed with her. Normally he thinks about Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin as a method of delaying the inevitable and trying to please his new wife more. Poor Flora Myfanwy just wonders why Wilfred never seems to quite have his mind on the job. There seemed to be something rather incongruous about having quite such detail of Wilfred’s ‘delaying tactics’ when the rest of the book was rather twee and dainty in its scope.

Meanwhile, whilst Wilfred is starting over with his new wife in small town west Wales, Grace is starting over in London, finding a job as a chambermaid at the Ritz hotel. Grace has a secret that she won’t be able to hide forever and even when her problem becomes apparent, the cause will remain a mystery to those around her. Grace falls in with a group of Suffragettes after being invited to a meeting by a client at the hotel, Lady Penelope Lytton, who is drawn to Grace because she reminds her of her sister. Grace can’t see the point of votes for women, surely that’s only something relevant to the wealthy women and not to people like her but she stands to benefit from their encouragement of empowerment in the wider sense. Watching the women doing their ‘jujutsu’ training, Grace comes to realise that if she’d been more able to look after herself, she’d not be in a half the mess she now is.

In order to give Grace a chance to escape her failed marriage, Wilfred gave her half his savings. Soon after his marriage, Flora Myfanwy falls pregnant and Wilfred is burdened by the fear of not being able to provide adequately for her and their child. He decides that his funeral business is limited by the number of people dying in the town, and he needs an additional income. With no particular talent or experience, he opens a paint and wallpaper business.

Flora Myfanwy has tragedies of her own. There was her sweetheart Albert who died in the war and more recently the death of her father who had a heart attack. Wilfred isn’t the great romantic love of her life – that role will always be with Albert – but she’s ready to start over in a new town, with new neighbours and a new role as the wife of a respected local businessman.

There are lots of different small stories running through the book. There’s Flora Myfanwy’s attempt to help a downtrodden local woman whose husband beats her regularly. There’s Wilfred’s attempt to remove a man’s body under cover of darkness because the family don’t want their neighbours to know that he died (and got rigor mortis) on the toilet. Flora’s attempts to clean up the house she shares with Wilfred and his father start out touching and sweet but soon become a displacement activity for the life she really wants but has had stolen from her.

This is a time of miscarriages and unwanted babies, of people making the most of their lot in the aftermath of the Great War and accepting less than they may have once wanted. This is a story of much being given to those that don’t want or need and much being taken from those who do want and need. It’s a time when people could be judged in their community for the tiniest of infringements on typical behaviour but when friendship can conquer many of life’s problems. The battered wife with her abusive husband are a world away from rich Lady Lytton and her well-to-do Suffragette friends but both women stand to benefit from the changes in the air. But change isn’t coming fast enough for some and Grace’s fear of being judged for what’s happened to her is the fear of the sinned against rather than the sinner.

I was initially deeply irritated by the dialogue in The World is a Wedding. The sing-songy backwards sentence construction and twee expressions like “There’s beautiful the bride is” or “There’s busy you are knitting, dear” really grated on my ears. The use of this style was patchy and thankfully after a while I stopped finding it quite so annoying perhaps because it was so inconsistently applied. I also found some of the sub-plots a little cheesy. When Wilfred is teaching Flora Myfanwy to drive the hearse, or the couple are judging the local dog show, or Flora Myfanwy is trying to bring some sense of cleanliness to a house that’s been home to two men for many years, it’s sometimes a bit too twee. However, despite my initial reservations, I stuck with the story and came to care a lot more about the characters than I expected. I also appreciated that the author didn’t always take the obvious route of tying up all the loose ends conveniently. She could very easily have solved Grace and Flora Myfanwy’s problems in one quick exchange but she didn’t. Running away from their problems wouldn’t really have suited either woman in the longer term and Wendy Jones did well to avoid the obvious opportunity for a short term fix.

Would I read another in the series? Probably not as I’m not sure the characters and situations really have enough scope for making an extended set of books about Wilfred and the town of Narberth. I’m intrigued enough to think I might track down the first book just to see if it would have made a difference to my interpretation of the second, but possibly knowing what happens in the follow-up would spoil reading the original.

It wasn’t perhaps entirely my cup of tea but I enjoyed spending time with Wilfred, Flora Myfanwy and Grace, a lot more than I expected
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on 5 November 2013
I was delighted when I found that the author had a sequel to the utterly wonderful The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals, as it gave me a chance to catch up with the well drawn and lovely characters of Wilfred, Flora and Grace as well as the multitude of delightful secondary characters which are portrayed with such warmth and humour. Again, I felt myself smiling as I read this and I would love to see and read a whole collection of Wilfred Price novels. I would recommend reading The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals first and afterwards I'm sure you will be longing to read more! I really do think these novels should out-sell Harry Potter!
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on 13 April 2014
Having read and throughly enjoyed the first Wilfred Price novel i was eagerly anticipating the next.The first novel is such a beautiful, tender tale written with such care to the characters that ist is impossible not to care what happens to them next. Both books have a dark side to them without being cynical. Its a joy to read a novel that is knowing but not bitter or ironic in a way that some writers seem to feel that they have to be. This book takes us to both London and Wales in interesting plot turns that kept me engaged until the climax. I want the next one now!
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on 26 March 2015
Thought provoking book which expands and augments the issues covered in the first book. The book offers quite deep insights into the characters who, aside from the normal joys of life, need to deal with quite dark situations, complex relationships and internal struggles.
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