Charming if for nothing than it's Brutishness. They do love their tea time!!!
Wonderful British spinster novel filled with quirky characters and the quiet observations of a curate's daughter who has to share the bathroom with more exciting neighbors.
A quiet, wry, slice-of-life novel of manners about competent, observant Mildred Lathbury, a single woman who gets swept up in the intrigues of her neighbors in post WWII-England, I would recommend “Excellent Women” for fans of Jane Austen or Stella Gibbons. One word of warning: if you need a strong plot, this isn't the book for you. But if you're character-focused, definitely give this a try!
dated? did you notice it was set in the 1950's?
I found it amusing, ironic, and truthful.
An eminently likeable story with likeable characters and a nice setting. It was not an inspiring read for me but it is enjoyable to hang out with these characters in 1950s England for a few hours.
Every reader should have a favourite author to return to after weathering a succession of less than satisfactory new books. Mine is Barbara Pym. Read enough issues of Staff Picks and you will likely encounter most of her ten novels. This one is the story of the capable, unmarried Mildred, just past thirty and on her way to becoming an “excellent woman” in her London parish. An appreciative observer, she excels at getting involved in others’ lives instead of her own-until the charming, carefree Rocky moves into the apartment downstairs. Once again Pym’s comic flair and eye for the absurdities of human behaviour bring to centre stage those individuals usually regarded as too insignificant for fiction.
I wanted to like this book but it felt very dated and the characters did not interest me.
I love all of Barbara Pym's novels. Her novels are witty, funny, perceptive and kind-spirited. (This kind spirit this generosity towards ALL her characters, is where she differs from Jane Austen, who tends to be much too fond of her main characters and too unpleasantly judgemental of all others.) Barbara Pym is a hidden treasure. You don't have to be a fan of romances to enjoy them. They "work" just as well as deliciously observant social portraits of a particular time and place
New reader to Pym. What a treat. Truly a novel of manners but of more recent times. In 100 year people, who want to understand the inestimable social changes after WWII, will read Pym and get a micro sample of life of women when men were scarce and spinsterhood ceased to become a curse.
Strangely, this book didn't seem dated to me. The concept of "excellent" women is still alive today, including several of them in my own family.
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