Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Ponder heart (Welty)

The Ponder Heart by Welty was one of the books that I picked up on my visit to Woodstock at the end of Virago Reading Week and it didn't wait long on my TBR pile, mainly because it is a slim volume and I thought I could get it out of the way fast! I have read 3 of Welty's novels already for this blog - Losing Battles and Delta Wedding, which I didn't get on with very well, and The Robber Bridegroom, which I loved. Whilst I liked the tone of this book, I am afraid it fell into the category of the first two that I read.

The book is narrated by Edna Earle, and tells the story of the Ponder family, centering primarily around the character of her Uncle Daniel, who we discover was falsely accused of murdering his wife. The content and plot of the book isn't really its main focus however, rather the book is more about a depiction of small town life in Missisippi at the start of the last century.

As I've noted before when writing about Welty's work, I'm still not convinced that she is the author for me, but I know that her book The optimist's daughter is supposed to be the best of them, so until I have read that I will suspend my judgement!

This book has been published twice by Virago, once in an original green cover, which I own, and once in a modern cover.


  1. That original green cover is a detail from one of my favorite paintings by American painter Grant Wood. This particular detail is missing a third woman. I think it is called Daughters of the Revolution. The image on the wall behind the one woman is a picture of George Washington crossing the Deleware. You might know Grant Wood's work from his iconic and ubiquitous American Gothic. I know this has nothing to do with Eudora Welty, but as Wood is a favorite of mine, I couldn't resist the mini-lecture.

  2. I recently finished my first Welty novel, The Optimist's Daughter. While I didn't love it, there was enough to it to make me curious about her other work. Was planning on The Ponder Heart next, but maybe it should be The Robber Bridegroom. Have you read any of her short stories? I like "Why I Live at the P.O.".

  3. Thomas - that's great - it's nice to have a bit more information about the pictures too as they are such an important part of the Virago venture.

    JoAnn - I have yet to read any of Welty's short stories; I did like the Robber Bridegroom so do give that a go, and I'll let you know what I think of Optimist's daughter in due course.