The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals
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The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  457 ratings  ·  122 reviews
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.

Wendy Jones' charming first novel is a movin...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published July 19th 2012 by Corsair (first published January 1st 2012)
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This is one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time. Quirky, funny, poignant ... altogether lovely. Highly recommended.
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'Wilfred was beginning to realise that the profession of undertaker wasn't much use to him when it came to matters of romance.'

Wilfred Price is the undertaker in the Welsh village of Narberth in Pembrokeshire. One day in 1924, quite unintentionally and just swept up by the moment, Wilfred impulsively proposes marriage to a girl, Grace, whilst at a picnic. As soon as he has done it, he wishes he hadn't, as he realises he doesn't love her at all. He decides that he will explain this to her, and be...more
After once again interrogating the poor owner of a divine little bookstore in Mt Tambourine I walked away with this little discovery! This is quite a quirky and surprisingly little book. It tells the story of Wilfred Price, who is fighting to make something of himself as the local funeral director in a small little town where judgement and assumptions are rife. One summer day he mistakes beauty, loneliness and probably lust for love and asks a young woman to marry him. Instantly regretting the d...more
Kerri Turner
I had a real love/hate experience reading this book. This is probably more a 2.5 rating because when I finished the book, I was more on the side of hating it.

To put things bluntly, the writing is pretty awful. Almost everything is a cliche (I actually laughed out loud at a few, even though they weren't supposed to be funny), and the writing is riddled with constant similes and metaphors. If that weren't enough, everything is repeated at least two or three times - sentences, paragraphs, key plot...more
It's a charming novel, very descriptive and warm, but I didn't feel hat it had a great deal of substance and t times it dragged. I think what I liked most as how connected Wilfred felt to being an undertaker: he related his major lif decisions back to his chosen career/calling.
Tonya Marston
The small Welsh coastal town that this book is set in, is narrow minded and confining in contrast to the huge breadth and range of emotions that The characters in this story experience.

Everything about this story rings true. There is never a moment when the reader must suspend disbelief.

I was completely drawn in to the central character's suffering and indecision and I enjoyed that we were both enlightened to the awful truth at the centre of the story at the same moment. I had no prior inkling...more
Don't be misled by the charming cover because you will find a much darker tale at the heart of this seemingly unassuming book set in rural Wales in the 1920`s. Our hero Wilfred finds himself embroiled in a complicated love triangle (despite the advice of his funereal mentor Mr Auden forbidding `fancy business with the ladies') with a quite shocking secret at its heart that hits you square on and makes you reassess the predicament that he and Grace (his intended) find themselves in, further compl...more
I thought this was a lovely book ! The characters were very interesting , especially that of Wilfred. There are many times I wanted to give him a good shake. Wilfred is pretty dreadful in the art of asking a woman out. Honestly if he was real and not just a character in a book I would be standing in front of him going no no no no no Wilfred!!! It is because he is so clueless that makes him adorable in a way, you can't help but want to take him under your wing. I really enjoyed this story!!! Wil...more
This will be a shortish review because I’m afraid it might be too easy to include spoilers if I’m not careful. I picked up my copy from the lovely new Birmingham library – and I have to say I do love the cover artwork. Jones writes with that friendly informal simplicity very much in the tradition of many of Alexander McCall Smith’s novels. This style suits perfectly the story of small town innocence and miscommunication that has a deceptively dark centre. I loved the opening scene, and it sucked...more
The title of Wendy Jones' first novel sums up just what the story is about, and although it's a bit of a mouthful, it really is the perfect title for this wonderful story. Looking at the cover, which depicts the back view of a shapely young woman in a beautiful dress, the reader can suppose that many of Wilfred's thoughts centre around his relationships.

The story is set in the small Welsh town of Narbeth in the early 1920s. Wendy Jones has brought this insular, sometimes petty, often snobbish to...more
Wendy Jones's debut novel is set in the 1920's in a small Welsh village. This is a lovely gentle read about a naive young man, Wilfred, on a picnic with girl in a yellow dress. He wonders how it fastens and how she gets in and out of it and before he has time to think he finds himself proposing to her and she accepts him. He almost immediately regrets his proposal and there the story begins to unfold.
To talk more about the story would give too much away and I would hate to spoil it for others.
Bonnie Brody
Picture a beautiful day in a small Welsh town. Wilfred Price is at a picnic and is smitten with Grace and her yellow dress, in particular, wondering how she gets it off. In an impulsive moment and without forethought, he asks Grace to marry him. It doesn't take Wilfred long to realize he's made a terrible mistake. He doesn't want to marry Grace. It was just the momentum of the moment that made him propose. So Wilfred calls the marriage off - or thinks he does. Grace's father, the town's doctor,...more
Intro ...

“It was because of a 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. Wilfred wondered how she got the dress on. Maybe there were hooks and eyes hidden on the side, under her arm. Ladies dresses sometimes had those. Women hooked and...more
Marika Alexander
The words that come to mind when I think of this book are "sweet", "charming", "wistful", and "emotionally wrought". I almost gave it 5 stars, except I don't think I'll go back and read this book over and over again. Wilfred Price is a young man with an established undertaker business in South Wales. As his apprentice-master counseled, he seeks to take a wife as soon as he has his business. He impulsively proposes to one young lady he doesn't know very well, and when she unexpectedly accepts, th...more
I was intrigued by this book because it was set in 1920s Wales and it seemed like that would be an interesting time period to read about (and also I haven't read any other books set in that time period so it was new for me). I have some mixed feelings about the book though. I really did enjoy it, but I felt like there were a lot of really unlikeable characters, it was draggy in a lot of places, and I felt a little unsatisfied with how one of the character's story arc ended.

I found it difficult t...more
The year is 1924. The place: a small town in Wales. In an unguarded moment, Wilfred Price proposes marriage to Grace Reece. When he attempts to retract his proposal, he is instead bullied into marrying her by her and her father--father is convinced that Wilfred has gotten Grace pregnant, and Grace says nothing about the true father. Awkward to say the least. Another complication--Wilfred has met a young woman he truly does love, yet if he leaves Grace at the altar (or the Registry Office, in thi...more
3.5 stars really. The writing is gorgeous. Sentences like the following went over well with me, maybe because I was reading them during a kind of hectic time:

"Slowness was needed, so as not to alarm the bees and make them swarm, as was patience. . . . She felt not much could go wrong in a world that was slow and patient."

And there's a sense of place, specifically far western Wales, between WWI and WWII. "Popping their clogs" is a euphemism for death. A tree half on fire and half in full leaf is...more
Maria Longley
Rather sweet and gentle little novel set in a 1920s Welsh village. It starts off with an accidental proposal and ends slightly bittersweetly with truth telling and blackberries. I got slightly impatient with Wilfred Price at times, but Da was lovely throughout.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whimsical and light, this is a captivating tale set in the Welsh valleys in the 1940s. Something a little different for out reading group; led to discussion of whether we loved or loathed Wilfred (I'm in the former camp).
Peter Kettle
Endearingly funny, worth a read. Brilliant feeling of its 1921 Welsh setting. After you close the book you may well feel there is more to it than you first thought. I want her next book please!
Charming setting and language as well as the story. At first. Then a big something comes into play that I felt was a tad contrived and everything got serious. And interesting. Honestly I was getting bored until that point. But the ending was both a relief--that the main character came out of it happy--and made me a bit annoyed. One character got the short end of things by a long way. Completely undeserved and unfair. And the true villain got away with no repercussions. As a historical, this only...more
Carey Combe
This book got better as it went through (at one stage it was going in the bin). I liked the pretty realistic resolutions and it was a charming story.
A lovely slice of life in a small Welsh town in the 1920s, where propriety is all-important and misunderstandings are difficult to put right.
A gentle, solemn meander through unspoken misunderstandings. What a gem of a first novel, loved it.
Louise Exley-nee wilson
A lovely book which has a quite simple story but is written so beautifully.
Alicia J
Light hearted entertainment, period piece, unpredictable plot line.
really enjoyed this story. gentle and well written. very thoughtful
I could not make it though the book. The first 20% did not go anywhere and just jumped around, I have no idea what the plot it supposed to be, but I wasn't getting there any time soon. With my huge TBR list, I didn't have time for a book that did not catch my attention and seemed to be going no where.

Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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“It went on and on; intentionally, unintentionally, it didn't matter. The end was the same: broken people left in pieces, lives fractured, love bludgeoned.” 1 likes
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