Cheerful Weather For The Wedding – Julia Strachey

A Persephone classic, this little book has drawn mixed responses from other book bloggers. I fall into the “really enjoyed it” category. It’s a short (128 pg), funny and dark. I think it was the contrast between the superficial absurdity of it all and the dark undercurrents that appealed to me. I agree that the characters weren’t especially endearing or well developed. Mrs Thatcham was hilarious but wholly irritating and unlikeable. Interesting that she was modelled after Julia Strachey’s one time mother in law.

The action takes place on the wedding day of Dolly and Owen, engaged only for a month and to set sail for South Africa immediatey following the nuptials. The quirky assortment of guests, mainly unruly family members converge on the house of the bride – Dolly herself spends most of the story in her room, drinking too much rum and preparing both in dress and mind for the ceremony. Her mother Mrs Thatcham is a nervous wreck, attempting unsuccessfully to direct proceedings in a way she finds socially acceptable – with amusing consequences.

There is an interesting development toward the end which came out of the blue and really cemented the the overall feel of the book. Very enjoyable.

Read for the November Novella challenge.

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13 responses to “Cheerful Weather For The Wedding – Julia Strachey

  1. I’ve heard mixed things as well, but I have this one on hand so will read it sooner or later. I always start out with the idea I will like a book, though, and I have a feeling this will still appeal despite imperfect characters.

  2. Danielle – I like that philosophy. It’s a good starting place to begin a book. I hope you like it when you get to it. I’d like to gradually make my way through all the Persephones. I loved the covers on their classics as well 0:)

  3. So many people are loving Persephone Classics at the moment, I really need to try them. After reading this I have a feeling you might like The Dud Avocado (Elaine Dundy) Which I read recently…

  4. novelinsights – I have only read a handful of persephones but my favourite so far is Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. That was the first one I read and I was suprised at how rivetting it was without being over revealing – I recommend it.
    You are right about The Dud Avocado – I saw you were reading this and thought it looked really good. I’ll pop back and see what you thought 0:)

    • I will keep an eye out for that one, as well as The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett which Savidge Reads recommended highly.

  5. I wasn’t taken with this at all until that momentous event. It made me see things rather differently and so I moved into the “really liked it” came. I agree the characters were underdeveloped and unengaging, but I recognised types and relationships and so I watched with a degree of curiosity. Almost soap opera Persephone style.

  6. This isn’t my favourite Persephone but I did enjoy it; it has also been a slow-burner for me with my appreciation growing upon further reflection.

    I’m glad that Persephone brought it out as a classic; I read a library copy and wouldn’t buy a grey copy due to the cost but I will pick up a classic now at some point.

  7. Claire – I love the covers of the Persephone classics and funnily enough this cover is one I’ve enjoyed looking at since but I haven’t thought much about the content- I’m sure there’s something not quite right about that!

  8. Wow, I’ve GOT to get The Uncommon Reader!

  9. I fail at commenting: meant to leave that on the last post, but this one looks great, too, so maybe it was fate?

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