enjoyable for occasional wit and drollness, but I did snooze in the middle
I enjoyed reading this book as it is a typical Pym social commentary on post WWII life in small town England. Jane has one foot in the feminist camp and one in the tradition of vicar's wife and sometimes matchmaker. Prudence has the benefit of being on the cusp of 60's free love but is still not completely comfortable with being unmarried for the rest of her life, although she has models of this independent, modern spinsterhood in her social circle. Male characters are weak, for the most part, but they are foils for the characters of Jane and Prudence and I don't see this as a failing in Pym's usual brilliant writing.
I'm not quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book. Something more "classic" maybe and something more sarcastic or witty. Whatever it was, what I got was a sweet, gentle story of a middle aged vicars wife and her single friend. The social commentary is mellow and while a good story in a comforting way, it wasn't really my cup of tea.
Jane is married to the newly appointed vicar in an English village and her London friend Prudence falls for the town roué. Pym has a seemingly effortless ability to deliver witty observations in a delightful, deadpan style. Written in the 50's this novel is still fresh, funny, true to life and a balm for the modern soul.
Another fine offering in the vein of Excellent Women, Jane and Prudence is the story of two friends with very different lives. They met when Jane was Prudence’s tutor in college; Jane now wants to find a husband for Prudence.
Both women are smart, but they have vastly different experiences with the opposite sex. Jane is married to a clergyman and bored senseless; Prudence is single and has carried on a series of love affairs.
When Jane tries her hand at matchmaking, the village’s handsome widower becomes her target. Village life then becomes the primary focus of the novel (along with dating).
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