Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty

I understand now the love that people have for author Eudora Welty. This book truly lulled me into the south in a gentle yet persistent river-flowing way. At first I was concerned it was another ‘family saga’ and I’m not personally all that keen on family ‘sagas’ that last over generations. But this isn’t one of those. And it isn’t about race or prejudice, either. This is a story about a family, period, and all the complexities, foibles, darks and lights of the different personalities that make up that family, the Fairchilds. I love the name the Fairchild because it’s almost as if it’s a joke Eudora pulls on the reader. They are anything but “fair” in the sense they are so completely vulnerable to all the parts of ourselves we try to hide from the world in almost childish ways. Eudora Welty gives voice to each character with a light and thorough touch, individual and unique and yet truly of their time and place. It isn’t dramatic in any way and yet it is in the old southern slow way, gentle; the best of what the south has in its unassuming view of the world, as if only what is right there in front of oneself is all that there is. Don’t read this if you want madcap exciting adventure. Read this if you want to escape, to “be” somewhere else, if you want to linger over little yet important trials and discoveries, if you want to meet the Fairchild’s and live in their close little world for awhile. Read this if you don’t want to feel alone in your own vulnerability and fallibility. I recommend "Delta Wedding."

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