The author of Excellent Women explores female friendship and the quiet yearnings of British middle-class life—a literary delight for fans of Jane Austen.
Jane Cleveland and Prudence Bates were close friends at Oxford University, but now live very different lives. Forty-one-year-old Jane lives in the country, is married to a vicar, has a daughter she adores, and lives a very proper life in a very proper English parish. Prudence, a year shy of thirty, lives in London, has an office job, and is self-sufficient and fiercely independent—until Jane decides her friend should be married. Jane has the perfect husband in mind for her former pupil: a widower named Fabian Driver.
But there are other women vying for Fabian’s attention. And Pru is nursing her own highly inappropriate desire for her older, married, and seemingly oblivious employer, Dr. Grampian. What follows is a witty, delightful, trenchant story of manners, morals, family, and female bonding that redefines the social novel for a new generation.
Jane and Prudence
This is my favorite Pym book. I have read it numerous times. The characters are average people with everyday lives that we can all relate to, but with a touch of humor. From Fabian's secret affairs to Jane's outlook on her life and the people in it, to Prudence's many loves, it keeps entertaining with each reading. Favorite supporting characters are Miss Doggett and Jessie and Miss Trapnell and Miss Clothier. You can find yourself in this book and also the people you know. Jane and Prudence is an enjoyable trip into English village life. It is a gentle, engaging and funny. A great first book to read by a truly talented author, Miss Barbara Pym.
Subtle and charming
The best of Barbara Pym. The characters are introspective, erudite but with many insecurities and foibles. A lovely understated story.