Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking, and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less.
Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-Catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.
©1958 Barbara Pym (P)2012 Library Magna Books Ltd
This is Barbara Pym's early masterwork. The limitations, triviality and superficiality of the lives described may be disconcerting at first. But perhaps we don't notice our own limitations. But every speech reveals people's self deceptions. The social nuances are spot-on. And what I have always found very moving in this book is that here is an eminently respectable, indeed conservative, lady in the 1950s who finds absolutely no difficulty in relating to gay men as completely unproblematic. I find it an endlessly amusing and fascinating book. More for lovers of Jane Austen than lovers of Charlotte Bronte or Ian Fleming.
I didn't find this as funny as Some Tame Gazelle, which I loved. I also found it a lot more dated, for some odd reason.
It wasn't my favourite narration either. Wilmet seemed unnecessarily squeaky - and she didn't have to be, because Mary wasn't - while the male voices sounded a little artificially deep to me.
This could be just me - don't hesitate to give it a try.
A comedy of manners..written as only Pym could- filled with the usual "Affectionate Irony". This is nicely read although I do prefer Susan Jameson' performance.
The story was dragged out and utterly boring. The narrator, sounded as if she was sitting on something dreadfully painful, and this was kept up throughout the entire story-telling. Maybe if the Narrator had been a man it might have made it less dreary to listen to. This is an audible you would send to someone you disliked intensely. I was obliged to rate it with a star before submission, it doesn't deserve even on!!!
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