Book 15 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from January 29 - February 1
Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter
Summary (via Goodreads)
Poor Mr. Banks. His jacket is too tight, he can't get a cocktail, and he's footing the bill....He's the father of the bride.
Stanley Banks is just your ordinary suburban dad. He's the kind of guy who believes that weddings are simple affairs in which two people get married. But when daddy's little girl announces her engagement to Buckley, Mr. Banks feels like his life has been turned upside down. And any man with a daughter can appreciate Mr. Banks's feelings.
Kay: Now, Pops, please. If we're going --
Mr. Banks: -- and what's his last name? I hope it's better than his first one.
Kay: Pops, I'm not going to sit here --
Mr. Banks: -- and where the hell does he come from -- and who does he think is going to support him? If it's me he's got another guess coming. And who in God's name --
To say the least, Mr. Banks isn't taking it well, and to make matters worse, he must host cocktail parties with the in-laws-to-be, initiate financial planning talks with Buckley, and moderate family conferences on who will be invited to the reception.
Who can blame him when he sinks so low as to offer Kay $1500 to elope?
But Mr. Banks holds his peace, and when the last wedding guest has departed from his confetti-matted house, he has his memories, and you have a merry record of his tribulations.
The book was originally published in 1948 and I read a first edition. I love the style of older books with illustrations; there was a lot of care put into the whole 'experience' of reading, not just getting the words on the page.
That being said, I'm not sure why my library still had this on their shelf. I don't believe the author is well-known and nothing really holds up, from the dollar amounts to the constant drinking to the traditions. But it was a fun look at the past (even if I can only picture Steve Martin as I'm reading since he played the dad in the Father of the Bride movie).
I guess this funny quote shows one thing about large weddings hasn't changed with time - there is often no room for the groom or his opinion, haha! "It struck Mr. Banks that the accepted belief that men married women was a colossal hoax - they were merely married by women."
A Few Quotes from the Book
"The only recognition he received was when Kay occasionally pushed him aside with "Please, Pops. Can't you see you're right in the way? Why don't you go downstairs and read? You just don't understand."
At those moments he would be in full agreement with his daughter for the first time in days."
"What an innocent he had been! His original wedding budget had included a case or two of champagne, a couple of hundred water cress sandwiches, a wedding dress (if he was unfortunate enough to have reared a daughter who couldn't slip into her mother's), a handsome present to the bride, some miscellaneous tips and that was about all (although bad enough). The church was free. What else was there?"
"A moment later Mrs. Banks entered the room and Mr. Banks forgot everything else. He knew that he would never be able to remember what she was wearing. He knew also that, to his dying day, he would never forget her as she stood, framed in the doorway, waiting for his approval - slim, graceful and lovely."
"They lapsed into exhausted silence. In the brain of each a projector was unreeling the film of the day's events. It would have amazed them if they could have known how different the films were."