Delta Wedding
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Delta Wedding

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,510 ratings  ·  151 reviews
A vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a plantation in the Mississippi delta. The story, set in 1923, is exquisitely woven from the ordinary events of family life, centered around the visit of a young relative, Laura McRaven, and the family’s preparations for her cousin Dabney’s wedding.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 21st 1979 by Mariner Books (first published 1946)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.75* of five

The Publisher Says: A vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a plantation in the Mississippi delta. The story, set in 1923, is exquisitely woven from the ordinary events of family life, centered around the visit of a young relative, Laura McRaven, and the family’s preparations for her cousin Dabney’s wedding.

My Review: The Doubleday UK meme, a book a day for July 2014, is the goad I'm using to get through my snit-based unwritten r...more
I grew up in a family of four kids, and during the summer, we shared a lakehouse with another large family. Nearby, several other families from our church also had lakehouses. Every day - throughout the entire summer - was largely spent swimming, waterskiing, and biking with a huge extended family of other kids. We played games like spotlight and ghost in the graveyard almost every night. Around the Fourth of July, we had firework wars that were truly epic. No was ever alone. Each moment was a s...more
Eudora Welty is supposed to be one of 20th Century America's great defining authors, but honestly, I just couldn't stick with this book. Although the writing was beautiful, after two chapters, nothing of consequence had taken place. The jacket referred to "drama upon drama, revelation upon revelation", but I read nothing that made me think this was going to happen.

Furthermore, the highly rated reviews from other readers mostly referred to their experiences as children. I know enough about growin...more
The common view was that, though the writing was lush, and the characterizations apt, the novel did show the flaws that you might have expected from a first-time author.

The tone of the first chapter, from the point of view of a young child, was excellent. But she was not able to construct a story line that could be told from Laura's point of view, and had to flit from character to character to continue the narrative. (But only, to Bruce's disappointment, using female characters.)

There was no cha...more
Lucinda Mcintyre
I love to read Eudora Welty in the summer when the cicada bugs are buzzing away and the heat is nearly enough to make you crazy!
A big, loud Southern family gathers for a wedding in 1920's Mississippi. Not much else really happens - but don't let that stop you from reading.
I started reading this book by trying to carefully figure out every paragraph - keeping straight who was who - and who was talking and to whom - and was really struggling. I finally realized that I needed to just let my eyes ru...more
Sarah Ryburn
well, i enjoyed the first third or so immensely. i thought of it as rather faulkner-esque. now i've reached the end, and honestly but painfully i must confess that i just think welty could have cut 50-75 pages. this piece would have made a better short story or novella. welty's short stories are just so much "tighter" than her novels. i enjoyed both the robber bridegroom and the ponder heart , but the shorts are her true genius.
Abandoned - this book with what I suppose was intended to be detailed descriptions of the southern comfort type of life we all love put me into a coma. Maybe that's because I don't find the south to be all that comfortable.
I've been writing a lot lately about feminist musicologist Susan McClary and her ideas about the need for an alternative narrative practice. McClary goes in search of a mode of storytelling that does not dwell in a land of perpetual desire, of constant striving for a climax or resolution which, once achieved, spells the end of the story (the so-called "phallic" or "heroic" narrative arc), but that instead stresses pleasure over desire, that glories in what McClary calls a "voluptuous 'being-in-t...more
"Delta Wedding" (1945)recalls the comings and goings of a large, extended Fairchilds family as they prepare for the wedding of their daughter Dabney in September 1923. Their eight-year old cousin, Laura McRaven, arrives from Jackson, a week before the big day. She tries to blend in with her cousins and all the preparations, but she is still in mourning for her mother who had died the previous winter. Eudora Welty creates complex, conflicted characters who have different ideas about the family's...more
I love this passage: "Her nose in the banana skin as in the cup of a lily, she watched the Delta. The land was perfectly flat and level but it shimmered like the wing of a lighted dragongly. It seemed strummed, as though it were an instrument and something had touched it.
--Eudora Welty

I have never read a more beautiful description of the Mississippi Delta. Welty has the most lovely turn of language. Even a thank you note in her hands is a thing of incredible beauty and awe.

Laura McRaven, a nin...more
Sometimes I enjoy reading books written by an author who lived during a different time period than what I have lived. The writing style and language are different, I have to pay more attention and look deeper while I am reading. I also enjoy envisioning what my life might be like during this different time period or in a different region of the country. Books like this tend to take me away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I enjoy adding this variety to my reading.
So beautifully written, I could feel the heat and humidity of the delta in her prose. I loved that it was somewhat rambling, in the sense that things happened that just happened and didn't resolve themselves into an ending. No real closure in certain parts of the story, but that's like life--things happen that don't have a beginning and ending or any explanation. I also loved that I didn't understand everything, or everybody's point of view. Very beautiful story.
Kathy Reinhart
I felt this title was strayed from what I would normally expect from this author. The story itself was wonderful and extremely reminiscent of the south, but, I did not like the characters enough to care about them. Any distinction was lost in the chaos of family, with them all speaking at once while Laura's thoughts were interjected throughout. Story and character are separate entities, I loved one, disliked the other. I generally shy away from 'literature' and prefer modern fiction for its lack...more
It's hard not to talk southern after reading this book. The language was like the slow, steady flowing of the Delta; entrancing and yet troubled. What type of family are the Fairchilds? Are they amazing or repulsive? I definitely don't feel the characters had greatness, but they were full of the natural man.
Eudora Welty has without a doubt a gift for words. She captures moments and brings them to life through the written word. What she cannot do is craft a story that flows. She should have written poetry, and left prose to those minions who know how to write simple dialog.
I really love the way Eudora Welty captures the cadences of Southern speech and the deceptively-slow appearances which obscure such swirling complexities of depth in the character's experiences.
Picked this up because I adored Welty's "the Optimist's Daughter" beyond words. This one definitely doesn't have the same pull, but the tale of a well-off Southern family gathering for a wedding was interesting. Welty has a way with descriptive prose.

Added the fourth star because it will stick with me - mostly for the fascinating relationship the family has with "George" which I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Be warned that the depictions and treatment of The Help are problematic and cringe-wo...more
Sandy Duke
I know they'll probably revoke my Southern belle card for rating this book so low...It's not that Ms. Welty is not a good writer. She does a lovely job of voicing the characters and creating the setting. I suppose if you are simply looking to join a large family and follow them throughout their day-to-day busyness you would love this book. I, however, enjoy a plotline. There is none in this book. It is simply a portrait of a family. A large, rather active family that tired me out by the third ch...more
It is strange and disappointing when a book I am looking forward to and expecting to love disappoints. Ann Patchett had praised Eudora Welty and this book so highly in The Story of a Happy Marriage that I bought it and started it with excitement. After 60 pages and after reading the many reviews on Goodreads, I am giving up and passing it on to someone else. It confuses me and even if I try to just go with the flow, I find that it doesn't engage me on any level. Even the syntax is confusing. I a...more
Tombom P
Had a dreamy quality that I enjoyed. The atmosphere was kind of beautiful and the descriptions were great and the scenes felt real. I liked it.

Weird/bad points: there was pretty much no conflict involved in the book even though quite a bit was set up, which was bizarre. For example, there are constant references to Troy's seeming unsuitability as a husband but nothing comes of it - and there's not really much explanation of WHY people talk about him as unsuitable. (view spoiler)...more
I haven't read very much by Eudora Welty, but, given her place in the American literary cannon, I was anxious to experience more of her writing.

Delta Wedding takes place in 1923 and tells the story of Laura, a young girl whose mother recently died. she travels by train to attend the wedding of one of her cousins and to spend time with them.

From the NLS blurb and the book jacket information, I expected this to be a warm story celebrating family which was filled with laughter and love. Unfortuna...more
I just re-read this magical book, which opens with an evocative description of the Delta seen through the eyes of 9 year-old Laura, from the train carrying her to the home of her late mother's family where a wedding is to take place. This opening chapter is so good. We meet the family as Laura does, cousins, aunts and uncles purling through the narrative perfectly naturally, eccentric, hilarious, demanding, accepting, downright mad in some cases, but all perfectly sure of their place in the worl...more
Jim Leckband
I don't believe the ending happened just because the wedding was over. It happened because Welty finally ran out of aunts and houses.

After further rumination of this unsatisfying novel, I came to the realization that something was missing:

Zombie Delta Wedding

Eudora Welty did not have good luck with her editors. Here she had written the first cross-genre teen romantic paranormal novel (well, second, if you count Little Undead Women as first.) Her concept was brilliant. What starts out as a presum...more
I find myself wondering if I should be mentioning food in almost every post of my blog, but after reading this book, I am confirmed in my view that, since food is a major part of life, it belongs on the page. These southern characters are steeped in it. They also take it for granted that it is a part of every day and a special day, like the wedding of the title, requires special food.
Food is part of the way in which we grow to know this way of life. The other way is Welty's positioning us in th...more
Fräulein Flora
[Libro assolutamente fuori catalogo. Vi consiglio di cercarlo in biblioteca]
Il romanzo descrive la vita della benestante famiglia Fairchild durante settimana che precede le nozze della diciassettenne Dabney e i giorni immediatamente successivi, nel settembre dei ‘23. In questo lasso di tempo accadono pochissimi eventi veri e propri, alla Welty interessano piuttosto i personaggi: li immerge in un microcosmo protetto, separato da tutto il resto, quasi estatico e li osserva vivere. Non troverete l...more
Look, I liked it, ok? Sort of pretty; sort of odd (particularly that runaway girl!). But come on. Do the comparisons to Woolf really carry any water?

Sorry, still feeling bitter about the class discussion we had around this novel. There's a wedding a comin'! It's in the South! There's a freakin' HUGE southern familial dynasty. You may as well not even bother trying to keep the family members straight. For some reason, we're supposed to buy that George is heroic and, like, noble and masculine or...more
Helen Gaye Brewster
My first Eudora Welty, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The descriptions of Delta life are similar to descriptions I heard from my grandmother, who grew up in peach country in Middle Georgia during the same era that the book is set. Welty's use of Southern vernacular is dead on, and the words and phrases are ones I heard growing up in South Georgia. The relationships between black "servants" and the family seemed a little unpleasant to some reviewers, but I'm guessing they are fairly typical of the...more
Boy, it took me a really long time to read this book. I had wanted to read something by Eudora Welty for a long long time and that is how long it took me to finish. A long long time, a really long long time. I found this a very difficult read. I had to keep re-reading parts to understand what was going on, who was who, etc. I found Welty's voice hard to understand (she had a very different way of expressing thought that I had to try again and again to hear) but quite interesting once I approched...more
I love this book. I've read it 4 times, and I still don't quite understand it, but viscerally, it is nothing but a pleasure. I went to Mississippi, to Eudora Welty's house & grave & the banks of the Yazoo River to try and capture the essence of what she writes. The story weaves in and around the Fairchilds family on the days leading up to the 2nd-oldest teenaged daughter's wedding to a much older man (also the white working-class overseer of their cotton plantation), and tells the storie...more
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Eudora Alice Welty was an award-winning American author who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Her book The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 and she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America.

Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and lived a sig...more
More about Eudora Welty...
The Collected Stories The Optimist's Daughter One Writer's Beginnings (William E.Massey Senior Lectures in the History of American Civilization) (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) The Ponder Heart Why I Live at the P.O.

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