Thursday 11 November 2010

Cheerful Weather For The Wedding by Julia Strachey

Pages - 119 - Read for the November Novella Challenge
First published in 1932, republished by Persephone in 2007

On March 5th Mrs Thatcham, a middle-class widow, married her eldest daughter, Dolly, who was twenty-three years old, to the Hon. Owen Bigham. He was eight years older than she was and in the Diplomatic Service.
It had been a short engagement , as engagements are supposed to go - only a month, but Owen was due out in South America at the end of March, to take up a post there for several years, and Dolly had agreed to marry and go out with him.

First of all, extreme excitement envelopes me at finding a Persephone in the library that fitted perfectly in the November Novella Challenge. Secondly doubled excitement, at discovering that this quirky little book is about to be made into a film.

This book follows the supposedly joyous day of Dolly's wedding to the Hon.Owen Bigham; starting with the morning before the wedding and finishing after the bride and groom leave to go away. The wedding itself is noticeably absent. The book is a whole day of wedding satire at its best. You realise from the title and the first few pages that this book is full of satirical episodes, when  the weather turns out be atrocious due to the howling gales outside.

The bride is on her way to being morbidly drunk, taking generous swigs from a hidden bottle of Jamaican rum, as she takes the rocky road of marriage to the wrong man. The other man in her life, Joseph, never quite showed her his true feelings and rather than being left on the shelf, Dolly marries the first man that asks her. Right up until the wedding takes place, you are convinced that Joseph will stop the wedding, and then you are disappointed by his inability to do so.

This book really focuses on unrequited love. If only Joseph and Dolly had been honest with each other and explained how they felt, they would be the chosen ones walking down the aisle.

The bride's mother, Mrs Thatcham, is hilarious. She really hasn't got a clue what is actually going on in her own house. She seems to have confetti in her eyes because she cannot see that her daughter is making a huge mistake with her life.  All the characters within the book will have you giggling with their quirky little ways.

A most enjoyable comedy caper that shows that not all weddings begin with a happy ever after.


  1. This one sounds interesting. I love Persephone books. Especially the quirky/charming ones that they seem to be famous for..

  2. This is already on my wishlist simply by virtue of being a Persephone, but the fact that you liked it makes me want it even more.

  3. I've heard an awful lot about Persephone books over the last couple of months but haven't really been inspired to read any of their books - thanks to your review of this that's all changed and I'm going to see if a copy is available at the library. Thanks for recommending such a fun sounding book Vivienne.

  4. OooOooH I love unrequited love books *and* I have still never read a Persephone novel.

    ...I know, I know. I should be grounded.

  5. I can imagine Maggie Smith in something like this, maybe as the mother - in fact the lady on the cover reminds me a bit of her. Sounds fun :)

  6. I love the title of this book, especially as you see that it is a satire. I have been wanting to read it forever, will have to do it soon.

  7. Love the book when you say its quirky!

  8. Intriguing that the wedding itself is absent from the pages! I would like to read this novella, and see the film. It sounds like a brilliant satire!

  9. This has been on my wishlist ever since I found out about Persephone books (which was a mere 5 months ago) and I am looking forward to reading it so much!

  10. I wish my library had Persephones! This sounds like fun, and I'm curious to see the movie version since I adored the film of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. :D

  11. I have heard many things about this book, and I like the description of it as "quirky." It sounds very much up my alley, mostly because I love using the word "quirky" to describe my personality.

  12. I'm excited for the film too!

    This was indeed quirky and thoroughly charming. Don't you just adore the cover above? I do.

  13. I'm excited for the film too!

    This was indeed quirky and absolutely charming. Don't you just adore the cover above? I do.

  14. This Persephone novel sounds entertaining and delightful! A refreshing story among so many intense dramas and mysteries and so on! Love the cover, too.

    Isn't great to find a Persephone in an unexpected place? I found one at the flea market a few weeks ago!
    ~ Amy


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