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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
I like books where personal accounts and history blend well together because private vicissitudes and general information create the most delightful stories. This is what happens with Betty Ann Toenies’ amazing book The Postponed Wedding. The wedding she refers to is that of her parents. They should have married on November 12, 1940, but a storm forced them to delay the ceremony. The storm was the famous Armistice Day Blizzard and caught everyone by surprise. The communication systems of the time could not spread the news quickly, and the unexpected wave of bad weather had consequences for people and animals. However, The Postponed Wedding is more than the story of the blizzard and the wedding. It is also the tale of the farm where Toenies grew up, told with reference to legal documents.
What I liked the most about The Postponed Wedding is Toenies’ obvious pleasure in historical research. Her account is not limited to her family’s events, but she adds interesting information about weather forecasting, electricity, and communication systems such as radio and telephone. She also includes a delightful chapter about ballrooms and the love of ballroom dance that people shared at the time. In the part of The Postponed Wedding that she dedicated to the story of her family’s farm, she recalls the life she led there. This is the most charming picture of the book. In short, The Postponed Wedding presents an interesting cross-section of Minnesota during the 1930s and early 1940s. Every passionate reader of history will find this book to his or her liking.