Country Wedding

Berry Fleming, Author Permanent Press (NY) $22 (128p) ISBN 978-0-933256-74-3
This slim novel's history is as unlikely as the 90-year-old author's career: written in 1934, revised in 1982 and published locally (200 copies sold)--and now, one hopes, available to a large audience. While not set in the South, as is most of Fleming's work ( Colonel Effingham's Raid ; Lucinderella ) it reveals his usual glimmering sensibilities. In 1948, Philip Edridge, in New York en route to South America, is invited by old flame Beatrice Mantry to her pre-wedding dinner on Long Island. Edridge, a 36-year-old who occasionally acts the adolescent, accepts even though he'll lose his job if he misses his boat the next day. Fleming sets up a variety of suspenseful situations: Will Beatrice jilt stolid Walter for a final try at a music career? Will Edridge run off to South America (or Montauk) with Connie, a married local femme fatale ? Will 20-year-old Paul Ewing kill himself for unrequited love? Fleming shows a sure hand with period detail--cigarette cases, parlor cars, tail suits; his craft is such that few readers will wonder if these frivolous upper-class types are worth caring about. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-932298-29-4
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