The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals (Paperback)
Don’t let the cover and title fool you: it looks and sounds like it might be Oscar Wilde meets The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but in reality it’s much more along the lines of Thomas Hardy meets The Remains of the Day. Which is obviously a pretty good thing, once your expectations are in order. Wilfred Price is a young man filled with modest ambition and aspirations, but due to a terrible misunderstanding, he is caught between his duty and his desires. Rather than a comedy of manners, this novel is a tragedy of predestination where the characters’ secrets are burdens that can never be lightened and whose utter lack of birthright, by dint of gender or class, dictates the course of their lives.— From Emily's Picks
Under the heady influence of a springtime picnic and vague notions of obligation, young undertaker Wilfred Price blurts out a marriage proposal to a woman he barely knows. Much to his consternation, she says yes. As Wilfred attempts to extricate himself from the situation, his betrothed’s overbearing father presents further complications. And when Wilfred meets another woman he does wish to marry, a comedy of manners ensues. Set in rural Wales during the 1920s, Wendy Jones’s charming first novel is a deceptive, subtly humorous entrance to the mores and social conventions of a world gone by.
About the Author
Wendy Jones was the first person to do an MA in Life Writing at UEA and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, where she teaches. She wrote Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, a biography of Grayson Perry (Chatto & Windus) and hosts Interesting Conversations, a literary program on Resonance FM.
“Take on its own humble terms – an old-fashioned story exploring first love, loyalty and loss – this diverting novel is pure pleasure.” - The New York Times Sunday Book Review
“A skillfully drawn comedy of manners” - The New Yorker
“[Wendy Jones’] characters are delightfully drawn, lovingly described, and infused with life that transcends the printed page.” - World Literature Today
“A life-embracing novel” - The Boston Globe
“Wilfred's sentimental education is wrought so delightfully and affectionately.'” —Sunday Times
“Light, compassionate drama about a small, very tightly bound, ancient corner of the world.'” —Guardian
“This is a spryly told tale whose heart is an ample match for its more knowing qualities.” — Daily Mail