The Father of the Bride Is a Dull Old Duffer

By today’s standards, Edward Streeter’s The Father of the Bride is a quaint novel rather than a funny one.

The story is simple and predictable.  When Stanley Banks’  first born daughter decides to marry Buckley Dunstan, Mr. Banks’ comfortable, predictable life is turned on its head. Everything is more trouble and more expense than he could have imagined.

Eventually, the couple weds, the reception ends, and the Mr. Banks is left to pay the bills.

Ho hum.

In 1949, Streeter’s book probably seemed very trendy. The wedding industry was in its infancy. People were just catching on to the idea of middle class folks sinking a fortune into a wedding bash. Live-in arrangements had not yet become routine.

But the days when a champagne reception could be hosted for $3.72 per person are long gone.

So is this novel’s appeal.

None of the characters emerges as a real person. Gluyas Williams drawings underscore the flatness of the characters.  They are just props to hang a thesis on.

The only thing that still rings true is that nobody cares about a wedding except the principals.

When Streeter requests the honor of your reading his novel, send your regrets.

Father of the Bride
By Edward Streeter
Illustrated by Gluyas Williams
Simon and Schuster 1948
244 pages
Bestseller # 10 for 1949
My grade: C-
2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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