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Delta Wedding (A Harvest/Hbj Book) Paperback – March 21, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting is the area of central Mississippi through which the Yazoo River flows, not far from Faulkner country geographically or literarily; much of the land in this particular locality is owned by a family named the Fairchilds, the dynastic centerpiece of the story. The prevalent symbol in the novel is a train called the Yellow Dog, the principal means of mass transportation that connects this part of Mississippi to the rest of the state. This is the train that brings nine-year-old Laura McRaven from Jackson to visit the Fairchilds, her cousins, on their plantation, where Dabney (that's a girl) Fairchild is engaged to be married within the week to a man twice her age named Troy Flavin.
It is also the train that, not long before the novel begins, nearly ran over Laura's uncle George as he tried to rescue his addled niece Maureen who had caught her foot in a trestle. George's wife Robbie had witnessed this near-accident and now is using it as an excuse to leave him--how could he be so selfish as to risk his life and widow her?Read more ›
When I first started to read, my professor suggested compiling a list of characters and their relationships in order to assist in keeping everyone straight. This was excellent advice and allowed me to read without getting too bogged down in character names and trying to figure out who was allied with whom, etc etc.
The novel is ostensibly a portrait of one Southern family. On a broader perspective, one can view it as a deconstruction of the American South with its age-old social structures and isolationism. But it can also be taken on a much more universal level. Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in any milieu will relate to Ellen Fairchild, Laura McEvern, and Robbie Reid. Families across the world aren't so different. Robbie's statement in the novel's climax: "I didn't marry into them, I married George!" is, I thought, particularly insightful.
I honestly can't praise this book enough. It has inspired me to want to read more of Welty's work as well as other great Southern writers. An excellent introduction...
In some ways, perhaps in structure and narrative tone, it reminded me of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
Again, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read!
The plot, such as it is, is simple: the extended Fairchild family reunites for a wedding, and everyone brings their dreams, memories, grudges, and intrigues. As with any "typical" family reunion, there is a pervasive threat of scandal that never quite pans out, and several petty incidents get blown out of proportion by the affected characters. The sheer number of kinfolk can be overwhelming at times, but they are clearly delineated (although it must be said that the black servants rarely transcend stereotype, which is undoubtedly an accurate portrayal of how a rich Southern family would have viewed the help). Welty's drawling humor gives the narrative much warmth and vitality; her ability to switch perspective seamlessly from one character to the next is truly without equal.
All in all, Welty writes beautifully of familial relations and social manners; she can truly be considered the Jane Austen of the South.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first time I have read anything by Eudora Welty. Sometimes it takes me a while to acquire a taste for the works of an author. This may be the case here. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Francis C. Donnelly
I was assigned this book in graduate school. What a waste of my life. I couldn't even bear to finish reading it. I ended up just reading the Sparknotes. Pointless tome.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not my cup of tea. I only got through about half of it and was totally bored.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
The story meanders like the Yazoo River, but I enjoyed the journey immensely. A lovely tale of a plantation wedding in the 1920s, it is full of characters, oftentimes hard to keep... Read morePublished 7 months ago by asdparent
I have read this book many times. Welty is one of my favorit authors.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This enchanting novel is not from the usual mold. It has no real plot or confrontation. Like the characters' lives, the story drifts along. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Regina M. Joseph
A case of too much of a good thing---Welty' s love affair with adjectives was too intensive to let any "story" past the honeysuckle and humidity.Published 10 months ago by 1 Happy Reader
See my review for "Losing Battles." The high level of writing pervades this novel as well.Published 10 months ago by Bill