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The Wedding Group

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  206 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. B ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 25th 1970 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published April 1st 1968)
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The Wedding Group, first published in 1968, is Elizabeth Taylor's twelfth novel, and by no means her best. It has been reported in various reviews to be rather enjoyable regardless, so I went to it with open eyes, not expecting the brilliance of Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont and Angel, but fully thinking that I'd be captivated regardless.

The short of it is that I wasn't. It is a very ordered novel, particularly with regard to its character introductions and its measured descriptions, but it never
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Taylor’s tenth novel first published in 1968 is not among her best and yet I enjoyed it enormously and I think there is plenty in it that is still interesting.
The novel centres on Cressy – a young girl who has been brought up in an odd communal family, a sort of religious/artistic community, presided over by her grandfather Harry Bretton. Like several of the characters in this novel Cressy is somewhat isolated – she wants to escape her family.
“Time always went slowly for Cressy, now
I am not enjoying this book and don't feel like reading it right now.

Suspended on page 108
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1968, this is a gem in the tradition of Jane Austen: a domestic tragic-comedy, written with the understated wit and perception that British women have done so well over the years. There are two central characters: Midge, a middle-aged divorcee and Cressy, a 19-year-old girl who is trying to escape her family's life on a rural commune dominated by her artist grandfather.

Both women, though at the opposite ends of the scale when it comes to experience and resources, have mu
Once again Elizabeth Taylor explores in almost painful detail the lives of various none-too-admirable characters within the London commuter belt, but this time she adds to the mix the hilarious description of a commune presided over by a successful but terribly vain painter who has complete ascendency over his daughters, son-in-laws and hangers-on. The only member of the tribe to dare rebel, Cressy, ends up marrying a journalist who still makes his home with his divorced mother. The girl, who ha ...more
Yana Stajno
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book by an often overlooked writer- sharp, heartbreaking, funny, acute. 180 degree twists in destiny in a sentence. beautifully, savagely observed characters. makes me relieved not to have lived in the fifies, and not to live in a village.
"'Gallantry' is such a word,' Nell said, looking about her at all the dark-suited men. She had hauled herself up to a high stool by the bar, and her skirt was rucked up. David glanced at it, thought of telling her, but could not be bothered.
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: followers of weird religious cults and/or anyone thinking about marriage
Shelves: novel
What I learned from this book? People change. Don't be lazy. Don't eat too many éclairs.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one for the wonderful British writing. Here Cressy, the child of an artist's commune, is brought up in an agrarian world that circles around her grandfather's painting; he paints religious scenes in modern dress, using his female relatives as models. However, Cressy is not satisfied.
she longs for the outside, finding joy in the novelty of machine-made clothing and Wimpy bars. While Midge and David are a comfortable mother and son household. When Cressy meets David, complications ensue
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A story about an artist who holds his family close in his own enclave with his grandchildren homeschooled and everyone supporting him, the family business. One child breaks out to live on her own in the nearby village and tries to make a life for herself. Her choices are limited and reflect the narrowness of the story to me.
This is an interesting story of young adults and the families that encompass their lives. It was published in 1968, but it has a timeless atmosphere which makes it easy to imagine taking place in any time period. The main male character David comes from a family, traditional on the surface, but that has also experienced divorce and displacement. Still living at home, David ignores much of the extreme manipulation by his mother. Cressida, the young woman at the center of the story, has grown up i ...more
Deryn Guest
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another closely observed account of personal lives, again, with a character who disturbs the status quo who recognizes the manipulations at work and can stand outside the constraints of politeness in order to live more freely. A wry humour is subtly embedded as is the portrayal of human pettiness and small-minded selfishness via characters caught up in the web of relatedness. It is the women who can live beyond this web of manipulation that attracts despite their minor role in the overall script ...more
This is another new author for me. She brings together three lonely and unsatisfied people, a man, his mother and a 19 year old woman who has just managed to flee a closed Catholic community. Cressy's lack of contact with the local village people cause her to crave another more open life. Her naivety and almost complete lack of knowledge of the world make her irresistible to sophisticated David and his mother. This cover is totally inappropriate to the story, a pet hate of mine.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A wonderfully understated author who reminds me of the novel of manners ala Jane Austen. How we choose who we marry, why we choose them and the consequences on the families involved are the subject of this novel. While the reader knows that this marriage will not end happily ever after, Ms Taylor's characterizations and subtle dialogue are well worth the read.
Deborah J
It was strange to read an Elizabeth Taylor set in the 1960s. Somehow it just didn't fit, but that's probably my problem, not hers. The wit and acute observations are there, but I've timelocked the author in the 1940s. However, it was still a real pleasure.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the writing, the wit and the characterisations but not the ending. I was so hungry to find out more and felt that such a soft ending left way too much for the reader to deduce. Maybe I am lazy though, so do read it. I am looking forward to reading other Taylor books
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: virago
Oh, I was so looking forward to finding out how this book was going to end, because it had to be disastrous one way or another, as is every Elizabeth Taylor ending. And it was, but in such a very restrained manner that it makes one shiver to image the final ensuing scene.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite of her books but still beautifully written, I really do aspire to write prose like hers.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really 4.5 stars; nearly perfect.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
after loving taylor's 'angel' SO MUCH i've found her other novels to be quite uneven. this one started off wonderfully but dragged about halfway through.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gem from Elizabeth Taylor
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this much more than A Game of Hide and Seek, even though, considered objectively, it's probably just as depressing as a story. There just seems a little more acerbity that balances it out.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow and sad, the importance of the everyday and the strings that bind.
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written story of lonely people thrown together in different ways. Reminded me many times of Barbara Pym.
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Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles) was a popular English novelist and short story writer. Elizabeth Coles was born in Reading, Berkshire in 1912. She was educated at The Abbey School, Reading, and worked as a governess, as a tutor and as a librarian.

In 1936, she married John William Kendall Taylor , a businessman. She lived in Penn, Buckinghamshire, for almost all her married life.

Her first novel, At Mr
More about Elizabeth Taylor...

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