Good book, the first I've read by this author. The characters were a little hard to like, but it was a good read
"Gretchen Peabody, fortyish and only just a bit frowsy, has decided to abandon the comforts of Manhattan for a new home in Tula Springs, Louisiana, having been swept off her feet by Frank Dambar, a fetching widower she has happened upon in a New Orleans souvenir shop. What she finds there, however, is a state of affairs to which only James Wilcox, 'one of the most promising fiction writers on the national scene' (Los Angeles Times), could do justice. While Gretchen is baffled by the small town's provincialism, it pales next to the weird household her new husband has assembled, which includes a handyman/mystic and his arthritic niece, and a stolidly Teutonic housekeeper determined to keep the first Mrs. Dunbar's memory alive. Just as Gretchen begins to wonder whether so unusual a marriage has been a mistake, fate again intrudes...and 'Sort of Rich' takes off in a startling direction. James Wilcox's brilliant comic vision is here matched by a profoundly affecting regard for his characters - qualities that mark his maturity as a novelist and confirm his standing among the classic American humorists."
This wonderful, insightful, hilarious story of a classic marriage mismatch reveals Wilcox ( Modern Baptists, Miss Undine's Living Room ) at his best. Fortyish, unmarried Gretchen, of old New York family and money, literally runs into widower Frank Dambar (unaccountably pronounced "Denner") in a souvenir shop in New Orleans. Instant chemistry turns quickly to marriage, she moves into his Tula Springs, Louisiana, home, and though infatuation remains (Frank likes to fantasize that she's a maid), in all other areas of life, the two might as well be from different planets. Devoted old housekeeper Mrs. Howard and odd handyman Leo, as well as the lingering influence of dead wife Jane, add to the household tension.