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Summary

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

What listeners say about A Glass of Blessings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Respectable and subersive

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not my favourite Pym audiobook so far

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Splendid

At last a narrator worthy of Barbara Pym!


I can't give away the plot- but the genius of 'Glass of Blessings' is the way it quietly crumbles- it feels calm, chilly- almost a little dull and predictable- but then- wham!- the genius of Pym's narration just hits you-

The scene in the grocer's shop over the streaky bacon is achingly moving in a most extraordinary way.

It's a slow burner- you can't judge it til you've finished it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Stuff

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pym at understated ,wry and observant best; but narration rather strange

Vies with Excellent Women as my favourite Barbara Pym novel; - the novel charts a type of 'sentimental journey' for its elegant, poised but curiously unworldly heroine. I enjoyed revisiting it despite the very uneven narration - female voices rendered well; male voices almost all delivered in gruff teddy bear type tones quite unsuitable for several of the characters, and the narrator paused markedly between utterance and speech verb which made for very stilted delivery of the dialogue.

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shame about the narrator

I love this story, but the narrator was dreadful. It upset my listening to it

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this heading is supposedly optional

great book I loved it is that enough characters? no, obviously not, two more words needed...oh, that's enough

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Evocative of the era

This is my second Barbara Pym book and I cant wait to read the others. It really transports to another era and the narrator really brought the characters to life

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    5 out of 5 stars

Deliciously waspish Pym at her very best

It is perhaps one of those fundamental truths that one so often considers oneself THE one normal person in the room - the yardstick against which all and everything should be measured. Everyone and everything else falls short - to some degree - against such a paragon....
Thus it is with poor Wilmet Forsyth who, travelling through her world with her smug and patronising conceits, misses all that is really just under her nose. With the deft, crafted, one-liners and surgical observation this is Pym at her most Austeneque. Delicious, skilful, hilarious and yet tragic. For this yardstick is the most flawed character in the cast - and herein lies the joke.
Oh - if only we could see ourself as others see us...!
Patience Tomlinson's narration is wonderful: playing it absolutely straight & letting the humour stand out for itself.
The ONLY flaw being her rendition of the male voices - universally sounding in their mid 70s when in fact many are in their late 30's. In this a joke is missed: for a pompous young fool is so much funnier than a pompous old fool.

This is really a story from another age - my mother's generation. Could any 33 year old now be so snobbish and out of touch?

That being said however this was the best book I've listened to in years and will surely listen to it again. A real gem!

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    5 out of 5 stars

perfect

Love Barbara Pym's novels. The narration was absolutely perfect. I will be looking to download some more of these. very enjoyable