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Summary

Three lonely people come together in this poignant, witty novel of star-crossed romance from the New York Times best-selling author of Jane and Prudence.

After being jilted by her fiance, Dulcie Mainwaring despairs of ever finding true love. For a distraction, she goes to a publishing conference, where she meets Viola Dace, a dramatic woman who refuses to live without romance, as well as Aylwin Forbes, an editor whom Viola adores. 

The fact that Aylwin is married doesn't stop Viola. When her amorous pursuit prompts Aylwin's wife to leave him, the academic heartthrob is wide open to Viola's romantic attentions. That is, until Dulcie's 18-year-old niece moves in with Viola, and the young girl soon catches Aylwin's roving eye.   

Set in London in the early 1960s, No Fond Return of Love is a delightful comedy of manners that comes full circle as Dulcie discovers a love as unexpected as it is liberating.

©1961 The Estate of Barbara Pym (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about No Fond Return of Love

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    4 out of 5 stars

Mangled vowels

Three things. I adore Barbara Pym, I love everything I have ordered from Audible until now, and I very very rarely post negative reviews on anything. This is, therefore, an exception. Not since “ ‘Ello Ello” have I known quite so many random mangling of vowels. I assume the reader thinks this is how gentlewomen spoke in the early 1960s. It isn’t. “Ont” for Aunt? “Fother” for Father? Bard, sard and lard for bad, sad and lad? Back sometimes pronounced as bark, other times as buck. Fact as fuct (never expected so many fucts in a Barbara Pym!). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

10 people found this helpful

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Agree with everyone else, utterly dreadful

I’ve listened to all the other Barbara Pym novels on audible but I can’t listen to this because the narrator is so dreadful.
It’s a really bizarre and irritating way of speaking. Waste of a credit. Don’t buy.

8 people found this helpful

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A masterpiece but with the worst narration ever

No Fond Return Of Love is my favourite of Barbara Pym"s novels. This was the last novel she published before the long hiatus following the unaccountable rejection by her publishers of An Unsuitable Attachment.

I don't know what to say about the narration. It is so bizarrely dreadful that it is almost hypnotic. I am 62 years old and have lived in England all my life but I have never heard anyone talk like this. Who pronounces "that" "thart"? Or aunt "ont"? Totally insane and incredibly distracting.

8 people found this helpful

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Avoid! Until its released with a better narrator.

One of my favorite books totally ruined by a simpering narrator who seems to struggle to pronounce her own name. I have purchased some real stinkers in my many years as a member but this one is the worst by far. Why Audible allow this is beyond me. If I wanted readings by members of the public I could listen to the librabox ones on youtube.

6 people found this helpful

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Horrible narration

This is really bad. The narrator cannot pronounce the letters a or o correctly, not parse sentences.

I have all the other Pym audiobooks and loved them. This was just such a disappointment.

5 people found this helpful

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Spoilt by awful narrator

Having recently discovered Barbara Pym’s delightful books, I’ve binged listened all of them. I wish I’d read the audible reviews on this one before purchasing. The narrator is awful and spoilt the experience. A paperback version would have been more enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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Hideous slaughter of a beautiful book

This is to be avoided at all costs, the worst narration possible. One wonders if the reader is mentally well, if it is so I pity her, if not she needs help, but whatever her mental state she needs to remain silent. The one star for performance was dragged from me in order to place a review

3 people found this helpful

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Should have read the reviews !

Having just reheard the excellent Excellent Women audio, I decided to see if any more Barbara Pym books had been added since I last bought one and to my delight I saw that there two I did not own.This audio is spoilt by the narration which if I had looked at previous reviews I would have known. Silly me! I looked the narrator up and read she was ‘ classically trained `but obviously not in English as spoken in England. Jim Royle would say , “Classically trained - my ___! ”

2 people found this helpful

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Spoiled by narrator.

Such a waste of a credit. I haven’t been able to listen to this narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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Pronunciation of narrator

Good book ruined by peculiar pronunciation of reader who cannot have Queens English as mother tongue.
Star rating nil.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-06-20

Narration fails Barbara Pym’s story and wit

Very disappointed. I’m not sure the narrator understands the humor and irony in B Pym’s writing.
If she does, it doesn’t come through. The voice doesn’t match the main character’s Dulcie’s personality. She does a bit better with the other characters. Affected and distracting. I couldn’t finish.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Penny G.
  • 01-08-20

Please get a different narrator

Such a disappointment to listen to the same narrator as the narrator of Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Holly
  • 22-06-20

Delightful English novel of manners and life

Long my favorite Barbara Pym..though Some Tame Gazelle may be tied...I cannot overstate how rich, delightful, insightful and absorbing this deceptively simple tale is. I love it madly! I adore Dulcie and her observations on the rest of the world and herself--both mild and disarmingly straight forward. ALL of the supporting cast (as with every Pym novel) is stunningly well depicted with minimal but perfectly selected words through behavior even more than description, in very small but extremely memorable scenes. Pym is a genius and I feel this book best exemplifies it.

And...just a super fun read!

Now...I am spoiled by years of listening to my Chivers Audio recording on cassette. I am so delighted to finally have this from Audible. But, though the new narrator is very pleasant indeed, Angela Pleasance gave perfect voice to all the odd and eccentric supporting cast in the book. This is especially true of whiny Viola Dace, gruff and indignant Grace Willington, odd Mrs. Beltane, and the very eccentric Mrs. Forbes, plus so very many more. I missed how Angela Pleasance voiced them so very much. The new narrator is very pleasant, but it is like having your mother read Harry Potter after hearing Jim Dale read it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Brown
  • 04-10-20

Barbara Pym deserves better

Barbara Pym is my favorite author, and I was thrilled to see so many of her books finally available on Audible. I read the reviews about the dreadful narrator, but I thought how bad could it be? It’s painfully bad. I’m not English, but I’ve visited the U.K. and watch a lot of British TV. I don’t know what this accent is, but it’s deeply annoying. The reading is also bothersome in that the emphasis is often on the wrong word. Do yourself a favor and buy the book! It’s a gem. This audiobook version is appalling. The only comparison I can make is that of the Disney read-along books of my childhood when you turned the page when “Tinkerbell rings her little bell like this!”

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-06-21

Painful narrator

I loved the story and writing Is excellent in general, although hated the ending . The male interest/character is an Ephebophilia which is disgusting and makes for an un-likable love interest. But the worst is the ridiculous narration. Hard to understand and just so put on... what accent is she even trying to achieve. Such potential for a good read...ended up total waste of tune and stressful to listen to.