Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but Jane and Prudence remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life" - Jilly Cooper
"The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery" - The New Yorker
©1953 Barbara Pym (P)2011 Hachette Digital
This is a lovely book, and if it the narration was up to the standard of the writing then this review would have been a 5 star. Maybe the reader thought that we readers would be too stupid to notice the subtleties of the story if she didn't telegraph them loud and clear. Whatever the reason for it, the emphasis of the reading was frequently all wrong, with quite mundane remarks being ridiculously over-dramatized. Too much playing to the gallery!
The book is a delight, though a shame to have a number of plot points revealed in Jilly Cooper's introduction (less easy to skip in an audiobook). Not overfond of Maggie Mash's narration – she over-enunciates, and simply misunderstands the tone of a considerable portion of the dialogue.
I have enjoyed many of Barbara Pym's books and was so looking forward to hearing this one. However I gave up after about 6 chapters as the narrator was so irritating when she read men's speech - so slowly and ponderously I almost thought she was joking. However, she wasn't. Sorry Maggie Mash - your ladies are fine but you have to speed up your men.
Speed up the men's speech
Speed up the men's speech
A real joy to finally have some Barbara Pym here..if you've never read or listened to any of her books you are in for a real treat and if you have.. well you know already how good this is going to be. I'm keeping everything crossed that we get some more Pym...........please!!!
Not the story, which has been one of my favourite books for years, but ruined for me in this reading by the awful attempts by the narrator to play the characters. I found it impossible to lose myself in the story as Barbara Pym's subtle and deliciously funny writing became a world inhabited by automata whose clockwork was running down.
There weren't any for me in this reading.
Juliet Stephenson or Lucy Scott.
The book is wonderful
Memo to self- avoid this narrator at all costs in future!
"Understated hilarious comic writing"
Love Barabara Pym with whom we delight in the comic nature of the tiny things in our lives. The reader had just the right accent and collctions of voices for the characters but often spoke too slowly, so much so that you wondered if there was something wrong with these men. Apart from that, discover Barbara Pym.
Lightweight Jane Austen - a comedy of manners.
While good, I found the slow speed of her narration of dialogue distracting.
"Hard to stay awake"
Unfortunately, I found it difficult to remember the characters and even more difficult to care. There didn't seem to be any plot development. I haven't managed to listen to the end.
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