I first encountered Eudora Welty in a short story course in college. Having enjoyed several of her works, I decided to tackle this one next. Laura, a young Missisippian (of course) girl, travels by the Yellow Dog train to her cousin Dabneys wedding, at which she was to be a bridesmaid, except that she is prevented, as her mother is dead. (I dont comprehend this one and dont care to do the research.) I found this novel to be less gender neutral than other of her works; I also found the dialogue to be somewhat weird. It is as if I were reading a stream of consciousness, except that the dialog is of several people. Often it seems as if they must be talking over one another, as ones thoughts do not seem to mesh with those of anyone else. It makes me think of The View. Yes, and in the manner of Jules Verne, who likes to repeat details over and again lest we forget them, the recounting of George and Maureen nearly being run down by on the trestle by the Yellow Dog bombards us: to the very end of the book. I drone on, usually not really absorbing what I am reading. Little Laura is to be the flower girl. After two hundred grueling pages I get to the wedding rehearsal. It is a disappointment as it is glitched over; I am left to imagine the details. Home stretch. Swoosh! Thats over too and again all is left to my imagination. It has been Dabneys wedding, yet we have learned little about her and her spouse; it was about everyone else. There is little else but for Laura to return home by the Yellow Dog. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I am quite disappointed.
I love love love a good ole Southern read and this gave me what i was looking for in the Mississippi Delta. I like Eudora Welty books because she goes into detail of the land and home and of course the Southern Family which is large. She makes you feel like you are there also, "where the heck else would you be?" That kind of feeling. The story is endearing just the way it was in 1923 planning a wedding, family surrounding you. Wearing your favorite bonnet and waltzing in the most beautiful hoop skirted dress of the season. The portrait Ms Welty gives us of this event is nothing short of wonderful.
Great Southern literature.