The Wedding Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Wedding

Shelby Cole is the youngest daughter of the prominent African American Cole family. The Cole family and their affluent friends are gathering for Shelby's summer wedding to a white jazz musician named Meade Wyler. The Cole family (and their friends) are shocked by the upcoming wedding because they are of the belief that Meade is beneath Shelby. In fact, they feel that Shelby could've married anyone she chose. Why, they ask themselves, has she settled for a poor musician? Shelby's parents are a bit relieved that she has chosen to hold her wedding in Martha's Vineyard where the Ovalites (a group of the black bourgeoisie who have ruled African American "society" for decades and of which the Coles are members) will be able to attend the festivities. The Ovalites had never gotten over the elopement of Shelby's older sister Liz.
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As Shelby prepares for her wedding she is unprepared for the arrival of a new man in town, Lute McNeil. Lute is African American and the married father of three little girls. Lute is married to a white woman, who he is desperate to divorce. Lute is made even more desperate when he lays eyes on Shelby and vows to make her his wife, despite the fact that she is soon to be wed. Shelby grapples with her attraction to Lute and rethinks her upcoming wedding to Meade.
The review of this Book prepared by Sandra Calhoune

Chapter Analysis of The Wedding

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   fighting matchbreaker (parents/authorities) Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Black people in America/Europe Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different race (interracial loving!)

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   musician Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   on vacation    -   Atlantic Ocean Island

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Dorothy West Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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