I read this book, The Darling Buds of May, back in the month of May. Just as things were starting to turn lovely: all the yellow roses were blooming, the Pixar roses were showing off, the weather was warm and everything was generally pretty nice.
So, I thought this book would be a perfect book to read. It was one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. It was full of all my favorite things: food, nature, summer, love, cocktails, good smells, relaxation, parties. But it was kind of like that story about Raggedy Andy where he has a birthday party everyday for a week. Too much! I've been trying to kind of process it blog-wise, but haven't had luck, so I thought I'd just go for it and see what I find out.
The family in the book is large and loud. They are constantly eating, watching TV, drinking, laughing too loud...hmm, it's hard to describe.
Premise: Big family in rural England, live on a farm, older daughter looking for romance. Tax guy comes to get them to declare their income. The parents set him up with their daughter and trick him into staying on the farm for awhile to "get well" because he is stressed. He forgets about the income issue. There is strawberry picking, horse races and a huge party with free flowing champagne.
The weird thing is that this tax guy goes to get them to declare their income, they claim they have their farm and don't make any money. They even spend a few weeks strawberry picking and say they have to for money. But really, they have tons of cash all over the place and only do the picking because they get to eat as many strawberries as they want and enjoy the work. They have a new mattress, a new washing machine, new pots and pans and a new car. So this kind of polluted the whole live-off-the-land contentment thing. And it's never addressed how they get this money.
Plus, the matriarch and patriarch of the family seems to love each other so much, very romantic with each other, but the guy goes and smooches this neighbor lady cause she's so uptight. And the wife thinks that's just fine. What?!
All in all, it was bizarre. It was funny and I loved all the nature and food and "feel good" vibe. But then it would just rub me the wrong way and make me think I was on the track toward hedonism if I thought I liked to lay around in a meadow and eat cake daily. I mean, look at these people!
So, if you see it at a thrift store or used book store and think, what a charming little cover, I bet this is like Little Women. It's not. Just so you know.