Sunday, 7 September 2014

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

Finished August 29
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks

This book states on its cover that it a homage to P.G. Wodehouse, and Faulks includes a Foreword with more details on how and why he came to write this book, stating that it is a tribute for all the pleasure he's given. In my opinion, Faulks did a fantastic job of this novel, continuing the story of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves to a lovely conclusion.
As the story opens Bertie and Jeeves are vacationing on the Cote d'Azur, when Bertie literally runs into the young woman Georgiana Meadowes, who is on a sort of working vacation. Georgiana works as an editor for a London publisher and has taken this time away from the office to continue her work and think about her future. Her uncle, Sir Henry Hackwood, of Melbury Hall, Kingston St.-Giles, Dorsetshire, is financially stressed and hoping for a good (read financially successful) marriage for either his own daughter Amelia or Georgiana. Georgiana is engaged to a suitable young man, but doesn't have the appropriate feelings for him that would make her happy. As Bertie subsequently discovers once he returns home, Amelia is engaged to his good friend Woody Beeching, who, unfortunately, is not possessed of a fortune. Amelia has realized Georgiana's situation and feels compelled to reject Woody despite her feelings in an act of support for Georgiana. Woody has come to Bertie and Jeeves for advice and assistance.
Once the two men settle themselves at Seaview Cottage in Dorsetshire, things become more complicated as Bertie's plans go awry, and Jeeves is forced to impersonate an aristocrat. As Bertie is also forced to take on a role unlike his own, they become involved with the visitors to Melbury Hall. These include the author Venables, Georgiana's fiance, and his parents, among others. Sir Henry asks Woody to do what he can to make up a decent cricket team for a match with the village team that Sir Henry has a great deal riding on, and things become more amusing.  As preparations are made for the upcoming summer fete, Bertie is again put upon to play a role, that causes things to move forward in an interesting direction.
There is much expected humour, done nicely to a Wodehouse style, and a plethora of interesting and eccentric characters. A homage indeed, and a worthy one.

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