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The Wedding Group

by Elizabeth Taylor

Cressy is an ingénue, brought up in a rather avant-garde, artistic extended family presided over by her eccentric grandfather. She longs for a “normal” life and, while unworldly, she is wilful and flies the coop for a poky attic flat with only a single gas ring for company. Cressy takes a job in an antique shop and when the older, and seemingly wiser, David appears she is swept away and he is charmed by her innocence. Not for long. David still lives at home with his overbearing, needy mother Midge who finds Cressy irritating and naïve. Cressy now swaps one form of family repression for another and shrinks further into herself while Midge and David’s intense relationship threatens to destroy the couple.

When Cressy becomes pregnant Midge’s dominance intensifies and David is unable, or unwilling, to come between the two women.

Written in 1968 this Elizabeth Taylor novel is a beautifully observed and brilliantly written study of family dynamics and parental control and, like all her novels, absolutely deserves to be read more than once.

Irene Haynes

Published by Virago, 192pp.

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