As soon as I got Marriage for Beginners in my hands, I wondered why I should read a book like this specially immediately after reading clash of civilizations.After all both books belong to entirely disparate disciplines. One deals with the institution of marriage and the other is about international affairs and affairs surrounding them. However, I immediately decided to read the book for two reasons in my mind.
Even though clash of civilizations contains a set of indicators and predictions on as to how various civilizations will interact, and possibly come in conflict, with each other in the future (which is possibly the era we are living in now), it is, nonetheless, a book about civilizations too. In order to understand a civilization it is important to understand its culture and social norms. And I think that marriage is one institution that comprises of a set of rituals through which a culture, and in return, a civilization can be understood fairly easily.
Marriage for beginners is a marvelous book written by Mary Williams as a guide for newly weds. It covers all the small and deep nitty-gritty details that prospective candidates of marriage may want to know. She has covered almost everything one can think of coming across as a married person. This includes, all the dos and donts, how to cook, how to clean, how to shop, how to window shop, how to make a budget and how to do budget shopping. It also has lost of valuable advice for people getting betrothed. Small emotional aspects like how to live with parents, how to deal with in-laws when they are bad and good, how to have due regards for them when they are being supportive. The book also has quite large tables to assist the reader in planning various things such as budgets and things like that.
It is a very nice book, even though it is quite old (it was written in 1967). It advocates on the adoption of simplicity and austerity in living one’s life. To this end, the book has a very nice agenda for grooming people. It is a suitable guide and a family manual for almost any time and era and for any family. It even talks about the role of religion and religious beliefs and rituals on overall happiness in a marriage. Ms Williams has a very peculiar way of conveying her ideas. On the role of religion she says something like that every religious person believes in a heaven and that pursuit of heaven should be made easy for that person on this earth. This comment is both very funny and profound.
The other, and main, reason why I picked up the book so quickly was that I had a strong idea that it must have been written very nicely. Moreover, and due to this, reading this could be quite useful for improving on reading comprehension and consequently on English. The book is indeed very nicely written. The author has made a very balanced use of vocabulary. The writing style is very nice. And the author also has a very nice expression indeed.
I have to mention that this book was given to me by my mother who was about to give it away in charity (or sell it off as a cheap book) but then she changed her mind just at the spur of the moment. I am happy that she did change her mind.