Review by K. M. Lockwood
Published by Corsair 2012
It was because of the yellow dress. She was wearing a yellow dress and her
arms were bare. It was slightly tart, the colour of lemon curd. He couldn’t
remember seeing a dress in that shade before. It was pleated silk and sleeveless,
with a low waistband and a square neck that was slightly too low, perhaps only
by half an inch
Good Reads Summary
Everyone has to make decisions about love... Wilfred Price, overcome with emotion and a yellow dress, on a sunny spring day, proposes to a girl he barely knows at a picnic. The girl, Grace, joyfully accepts and rushes to tell her family of Wilfred's intentions. But by this time Wilfred realized his mistake. He does not love Grace.
The title immediately suggests this will be period novel with a sprinkling of gentle humour, with both the actions and speculations of the central character presented centre stage. It does not disappoint.
The cover also truthfully conveys the delicacy of the writing though it can’t indicate the essential Welshness of the storytelling voice. It’s not a caricature but a measured evocation of the setting and people portrayed. There is a mixture of charm and realism – both poverty and narrow-mindedness in 20s Narberth are clearly and convincingly shown, as well as a deep sense of community.
It would be a hard-hearted reader that didn’t feel some sympathy for Wilfred and the pickle he gets himself into; though there are times you may wish to shout at him, it’s only fair to say. I should also point out that there is a darker element to the story, which is sensitively handled, but which means the novel would not be suitable for younger readers.
You would enjoy this book if you like family dramas set in a distinct historical location told with a mixture of compassion and a touch of comedy.