A friend whose taste in British novels I trust (were both Jane Austen
fans, for instance) lent me this book and told me Id love it.
I finished it the next day. She was rightI loved it. Part of its charm
was that the main character was so familiarhaving grown up as a pastors
daughter, I could relate to this single thirty-something vicars daughter
who spent much of her life interested inand somehow pulled intoother
peoples lives. Having come from a similar background, I could appreciate
this characters voicethe wry sense of humor that comes from such
experiences. But I think the reason I really enjoyed this book is that I felt
I could have related to Mildred even had I come from a completely
Mildred, who narrates, shares a variety of impressions and stories
about her life. Shes depended on by her parish church in the matter of
jumble sales, of course (being one of those excellent women whos
always dependable in matters like that). Of course shes expected to marry
the single vicar. And she meets (at the dust bin, of all placesjust when
shed been meaning to extend a nice invitation to tea) the new married
neighbors downstairs (with whom she has to share a bathroom). And somehow she
gets pulled into the drama of their lives as well.
This portrait of a woman living a respectable but not at all dull life in 1950s London is wholesome but not by any means bland. Its quite hilarious,
actually, and charming.
The only frustrating part is that the ending, though it was a good place to
stop, doesnt answer all the readers questions. Thankfully, my friend
who loaned me the book told me they were resolved in another of Pyms novels
and was kind enough to share. If you finish the book and are as intrigued as
I was, email me and Id
be glad to pass on the information to you.