I almost quit reading

Eudora Welty, Delta Wedding bookcover

I’ve been struggling reading the book “Delta Wedding.” I almost put it down for good. But then I decided to give it one more try the day I skipped lap swimming. I was going to start my book club assigned book “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer.

I finally got caught up into the story about plantation life in the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s. I’ve never read Eudora Welty before. My son recommended the book and said it was his favorite assigned book in college.

It’s literary fiction which is code to mean there’s no plot. Or, as Wikipedia says “Literary Fiction is character-driven rather than plot-driven and examines the human condition.”

The writing is detailed and beautiful. It accurately depicts life on a plantation. I finally figured out who all the characters are which was confusing at first. There are three generations in the Fairchild family. Some of the characters in different generations have the same first names. There are eight children in the family and one of the daughters is getting married. Hence the title, “Delta Wedding.”

Here’s another bit from Wikipedia:

Delta Wedding is a 1946 Southern fiction novel by Eudora Welty. Set in 1923, the novel tells of the experiences of the Fairchild family in a domestic drama-filled week leading up to Dabney Fairchild’s wedding to the family overseer, Troy Flavin, during an otherwise unexceptional year in the Mississippi Delta.

A New York Times Review from 1946:

The interplay of family life, with a dozen different people saying and doing a dozen different things all at the same time, is wonderfully handled by Miss Welty so that no detail is lost, every detail had its place in the pattern of the whole. The transitions are so smoothly made that you seem to be all over the place at once, knowing the living members of three generations and all the skeletons and ghosts.


What books have you struggled with that you ended up loving? Why would you put a book down for good?

12 thoughts on “I almost quit reading

  1. There are any number of books I have put down and never returned to. You don’t have that luxury if you are assigned a book, and I remember some in college were torture with the pain of analysis or research adding to the discomfort! I really don’t think twice anymore if I start a book and simply can’t finish it. That’s also why I don’t buy books outright unless I know the author and like the writing. Much easier to simply return a library book after giving up than agonizing and force yourself to read because you spent $30 for the thing to gather dust on the shelf!

      • We have an extensive e-book library through the county system. Makes it really easy to get just about any book right to your favorite e-reader device!

  2. I did not like Delta Wedding the first time I read it. Many years later I read it for book club and was hooked. I even found literary rabbit holes to explore. Eudora Welty was a master of her craft.

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