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Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Lovely Successor to Jane Austen. A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym

A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym 
is a lovely successor to Jane Austen's novels.  Pym shares Austen's capacity to amuse, tart observations and character summations, and her famous use of irony.  I even laughed out loud sometimes when I read this book.  (I was told that this was very rude by my husband!) Anyone who can make high Anglican priests and Fabergé
eggs funny deserves a big clap!

The story concerns Wilmet, an elegant English woman in her thirties, who is a little bored with her husband and yearns for her exciting life in Italy during the Second Word War.  Wilmet goes to an extremely high Anglican church and takes a great interest in the priests.  Once she meets handsome and disreputable Piers again, however, she starts taking even more of a n interest in him!

I really enjoyed this book, so I'm looking forward to reading more of Pym's novels.  However,  her heroine, Wilmet, isn't nearly as likeable as Jane Austen's heroines, and she might really annoy some left-leaning people with her snobblishness and old-fashioned attitudes.  (It must be remembered that this book was written in the Fifties).  Her thoughts upset me at times, but I found her endearing when she decided that she was too judgemental and snobbish, and tried to improve! 

Wilmet changes her attitudes during the book, and becomes a somewhat 'softer' person.  It was a pleasure to share the journey with her.

Open Road Media has released a collection of  Ebooks by Barbara Pym, available to U.S. readers.

Here is a charming excerpt from A Glass of Blessings:


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