Evelyn Eman Delmar

Happily Ever After, or … ?

I’m on my way to West Virginia for my son’s wedding to a wonderful young woman. This will be my entry into mother-of-the-groom and mother-in-law territory. My happiness for my son is tinged with melancholy at the realization that I am officially relinquishing the top spot in my son’s heart. While a wedding is the culmination of a courtship it is also the beginning of a marriage. A wedding affects not only the betrothed but ripples out to others (sometimes with a hidden undertow), in the moment and over time. That makes weddings the perfect catalyst in literature.

Joyful or sad, funny or frightening, even if they are cancelled, weddings offer potent plot devices in literature. How many of these novels with nuptials have you read?

Pride and Prejudice (1813) – Jane Austen
Our Mutual Friend (1864) – Charles Dickens
Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) – Thomas Hardy
The Age of Innocence (1920) – Edith Wharton
The Member of the Wedding (1946) – Carson McCullers
The Princess Bride (1973) – William Goldman
I’ve Got Your Number (2012) – Sophie Kinsella
Seating Arrangements (2012) – Maggie Shipstead

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