Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, by Julia Strachey

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, by Julia Strachey had been on my radar for a while after seeing a few reviews of it around the book-blogosphere and finally got around to reading it belatedly as a result of Persephone Reading Week.

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding is a novella (about 120 pages), set on one day in the life of Dolly who is about to get married to Owen, her rich fiance who she has been matched up with by her mother, Mrs Thatcham. As the hustle and bustle of the day goes on, it becomes apparant that Dolly isn’t so keen on the wedding and it transpires that she also has a secret.

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding was an enjoyable and quick read for me but I can’t say that it blew my socks off. There were some funny characters and I really did giggle at a letter where Mrs Thatcham describes where she is and then goes on to explain how far it is in miles from every nearby town!  Despite having a murky undertone it was so light-humoured in parts and swift-moving that I felt I didn’t quite always know what was going on.  I had the same response however to The Great Gatsby when I read it a few years ago, so I think perhaps it’s just a ‘me’ thing which makes me not quite relate to the characters of this sort of genre.

That said, it is a beautifully written little book and an interesting snapshot of the era. To get another perspective I would read Simon T’s review as he was quite charmed by it.

My rating:

6 out of 10

Have you read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding?

18 responses to “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, by Julia Strachey

  1. I did love this novel, but most people seemed to either love or hate it – nice to have an in-between view as well! I mostly loved the background characters and their bizarre conversations – especially the brothers and the socks. I must re-read…

  2. Oh, and someone’s review (sorry, can’t remember whose) said they thought it was quite like a play, which I think is probably true.

    • novelinsights

      I can totally see that. I think it was Claire from The Captive Reader? I suppose that gave it a sort of detatched air which was interesting. It’s quite interesting when a book divides people so.

  3. Hmmmm, I saw this at the library and didn’t pick it up. Not that I have gone of Persephone after my latest read as I was actually looking for To Bed With Grand Music which the library had actually lost, yes, lost!!!

  4. I read this last week (for Persephone Reading Week) and really enjoyed it, though I felt it read more like a play than a novel. You certainly don’t really get to connection emotionally with either the plot or the characters; there’s a distance between the reader and the story and I rather liked that.

    • novelinsights

      No you’re right it was a bit like a play. It was certainly interesting but I think I like to get inside characters heads!

  5. I really enjoyed this particularly the murky undertone! I did find it hard to connect with the characters in any meaningful way – it is more of a snapshot and I found it all quite claustrophobic and ominous.

    • novelinsights

      That’s an interesting take – I guess it was kind of ominious, but it was just a teensy bit subtle for me. Perhaps if it had been longer I would have got to know the characters better.

  6. I kind of had a similar experience. Good, but didn’t blow my socks off.

    • novelinsights

      Interesting how there is such spectrum of opinion. Glad I’m not going mad though, I kept thinking while reading the first 50 pages ‘am I thick?’ ‘I’m missing something!’

  7. I had a middle-of-the-road reaction to; I was charmed some at the time but it is one that improves upon reflection. I think from my previous Persephone experience at that time I went expecting delight and what I got was sardonic humour, which is great as long as you are prepared. The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, I loathe (as I mentioned at weekend).

    • novelinsights

      I do think there is an aspect of expectation with Persphone books, but what is great about them is that they are all unique so I suppose that is why some appeal to different people. I think maybe it would improve on a re-read. I think it’s hilarious that you loath The Great Gatsby. I have to admit I didn’t love it but then I didn’t hate it either.

  8. I was very taken with the drunken bride, and the brothers bickering, but found it an odd little book. Much more like a play than anything else, makes me think too that Persephone are nothing if not varied.

  9. Pingback: Novel Insights’ May Review « Novel Insights

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