Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros--The Wedding by Dorothy West


Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros over at Bibliophile by the Sea where readers share a little something about the books they are reading or about to read.

I'm thinking about reading The Wedding (1995) by Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West (1907-1998). This is another book I picked up at a recent used book sale. It caught my eye because I haven't read anything by Dorothy West, and I haven't read much by writers of the Harlem Renaissance period. 

Here is information about The Wedding from Amazon:

"Set on bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s, The Wedding tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and the brightest of the East Coast black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of 'blue-vein society' we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from a 'whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions.' Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks out over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community. "

I've included the first three paragraphs of the first chapter:

"One morning in late August, the morning before the wedding, the sun rising out of the quiet sea stirred the Oval from its shapeless sleep and gave dimension and design to the ring of summer cottages.

The islanders were already astir. There was milk to deliver to the summer visitors, stores to open for their spending sprees, grass to cut for them, cars to wash for them, an endless chain of petty jobs demanding preference, particularly in the Oval, whose occupants were colored, and inclined to expect special treatment. 

The Oval was a rustic stretch of flowering shrubs and fall trees, designated on the old town maps as Highland Park. The narrow dirt road that circled it was Highland Avenue. But since in no islander's memory had there ever been signposts to bring these ambitious titles to life, the area had long ago been assigned the descriptive name that better suited it."

Should I keep reading?


18 comments:

  1. Oh, yes, you had me at "Martha's Vineyard," and in addition to the bucolic setting, the characters are bound to be interesting. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “FURTHER OUT THAN YOU THOUGHT”

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    1. I agree. I love the setting, too. Thanks for visiting!

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  2. I have never read anything by this author either. I like the intro very much and would definitely keep reading.

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  3. The setting, the characters, and the impending marriage all fascinate me. I'll read this one!
    My Tuesday post features THE LITTLEST COWBOY.

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  4. This one sounds interesting! The Oval reminds me a bit of Stephen L. Carter's focus on elite Harlem society in the 1950's, which I always found interesting.

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    1. I'm not familiar with Stephen L. Carter, so I'll have to find out more! Thanks for your comment!

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  5. This is a new author to me, but the opening certainly makes me want to read on.

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  6. Oh yes, I do like this beginning and isn't that cover art wonderful? Have a good week! kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. I really like the cover art on this one. Thanks, Kelley, and have a great week!

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  7. Sounds wonderful and love the setting as well. Thanks for sharing Monica.

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  8. This definitely does sound like a book I want to read! I like the sound of the description but it is mainly the blurb that is drawing me in! Thanks for dropping by and sorry for such a late visit back! Have a great week!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Hope you have a great week!

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