I still don’t know what to make of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey. I think I’m going to have to read it again. Not a big deal, since it’s such a short book.
The story’s plot all occurs on the day of Dolly’s wedding to an older man. It was a short engagement. Dolly’s mom, Mrs Thatchman, is running around getting all the last minute odds and ends together and preparing for guests. Dolly herself doesn’t seem all that happy about her big day. Most of the day she’s hiding up in her room. Guests trickle in, including Joseph an old admirer of Dolly’s. He seems to be getting up the nerve to do something, but if he will remains to be seen.
There’s a disconnect between Dolly and her mother. Mrs Thatcham flits around telling everyone what a beautiful day it is when it’s a miserable cold March day. She speaks to everyone like she’s a character in a play. Dolly is so unhappy, she’s getting plastered with a bottle of rum in her room. She’s not exactly the blushing bride.
The reason I couldn’t get fully into Cheerful Weather was because I couldn’t figure out the tone of the story. Is it a comedy? A tragedy? There are certain scenes that point to both: the brothers arguing over socks, comedy; Dolly’s gloomy moping, tragedy. It wasn’t until the end that I sort of figured out what was going on and that’s after a character drops a big old bombshell. Even then I didn’t know if this character was telling the truth or just trying to get a rise out of everyone. I did end up enjoying the writing even if I wasn’t 100% happy with the plot.
What I came away with from this story is how people spite themselves by not saying what is on their minds.