Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before Lunch” as Want to Read:
Before Lunch
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before Lunch (Barsetshire #8)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  250 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Middle-aged Catherine Middleton, married to an obtuse but endearing older man, is the still center of a swirl of two generations of "gentry" on the brink of WW II. The activities of youngsters and contemporaries go on around her and it is only gradually that one sees how, without conscious manipulation, nothing happens without her. The characters are subtly and humorously ...more
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Before Lunch, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Before Lunch

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 569)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 10, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglophilia
Angela Thirkell's pre-WW II novel explores the strange undercurrents that can exist between even the most civilized and reserved Britishers.

Mr. Middleton, a loquacious architect who likes to imagine himself a country squire in the weekend, is having his widowed sister and her two stepchildren Daphne and Denis as renters in the neighboring house. Mr. Middleton's long-term business associate, Mr. Cameron, is a frequent guest. Before long, all of them are deeply involved in county business, especi
I'll admit up front that I sometimes complain about books that don't have enough going on. Most novels require a fair amount of plot, I think, and some are very lacking. I wouldn't make that complaint about a Thirkell novel, however. In her novels not much happens, slowly, with humor and insight and great delight.

Take this book, for instance. The locals are upset about the proposed development of a certain plot of land, so they plan to protest. First they need to hold a meeting to organize the m
Oct 16, 2012 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This entry in Thirkell's Barsetshire series is more bittersweet than the previous ones...
Jun 26, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Mrs Middleton....
Mar 26, 2013 Alisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Middleton's sister Lilian Stonor and her stepchildren Daphne and Denis are coming to live next door for the summer.
Daphne soon finds herself the object of attentions from two men. C.W. Bond is a neighbor, a young man with extremely suitable prospects in life and good family. Alister Cameron is a much older man who nonetheless finds himself completely taken by Daphne. Stepmother Lilian frets over the situation, certain that Alister is going to get his heart broken. The fact that he is actuall
Dec 07, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one has a lot more of the love stuff (including calf love) and a little less story outside the love angles. It does contain the story of Lord Bond and Pooker's Piece, which is referred to (in passing) in several of the other books. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the others, because a lot of the humor is based on tiresome people's foibles, rather than being inherently funny. It is still an entertaining book, as they all are!
Feb 02, 2016 Anna_schtr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best, and saddest Angela Thirkell's. A bit of a midlife crisis, lots of stiff upper lip. And gentle humor. And that special brand of rather resigned love. This time the author goes just a bit deeper and perhaps reveals a little more about herself than in any other of her books.
Aug 15, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the third time I've read this one. I read Thirkell to live in her world of High Risings, Winter Overcoates and Pomfret Madrigal. Her bullying Ladies and her sensitive loving long suffering wives. I see myself in all of them, well, except possibly Mr. Middleton, a huge bag of wind.
The Hobbit
Not admitting their true feelings leads to confusion and anguish for young and old alike. Getting engaged to the wrong person could have been disastrous for the spirited Daphne, but all turns out right in the end.
Katharine Holden
Apr 17, 2015 Katharine Holden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful characters, even the ones you're glad you're not married to. The action committee meeting scene is classic -- I've been to neighborhood meetings just like that but with American accents.
Jun 06, 2014 Florence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Florence by:
Shelves: fiction
Really like Angela Thirkell and wish I could find more of her books. British country life without the murder mystery.
Sonia Gensler
Listened to the audio. Charming, but not my favorite Thirkell. A bit slow going.
Gayla Dalton
Mar 06, 2014 Gayla Dalton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read
Feb 20, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 16, 2015 Eliza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 08, 2014 Faye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great fun! In the tradition of Cold Comfort Farm and many other great British satires it was full of farce, misadventure and falling for the wrong person.
Jan 04, 2015 Jocelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In the beginning, you make a mental list of all the single characters and figure out who should wind up with whom. Then you follow them through their schedule of social events, where they meet and mingle with a set of funny characters, waiting to see whether they are going to get engaged to the right person by the end of the book. Fun, fun, fun.
Elena Richmond
Jan 03, 2012 Elena Richmond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite Angela Thirkell, among her 25 or so, all of which I have read at least twice.
Aug 04, 2012 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 23, 2010 LDuchess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book....and the interwoven tapestry of Barset families
Muriel Schwenck
Muriel Schwenck marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Meg marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Caroline marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Georgia Collins
Georgia Collins rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2016
Alexa Burks
Alexa Burks marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Molly marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Meriam Mabrouk
Meriam Mabrouk marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Anne marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2016
Margaret Roy
Margaret Roy marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My Search for Warren Harding
  • Fireflies
  • White Man Falling
  • The Wimbledon Poisoner
  • Topper Takes a Trip
  • Tropic Of Ruislip
  • Titmuss Regained
  • The Adventures of Gil Blas
  • England, Their England
  • The Harpole Report
  • Mister Johnson
  • Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf
  • Brewster's Millions
  • Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
  • Slouching Towards Kalamazoo
  • Towards the End of the Morning
  • No Bed for Bacon
  • The Unbearable Bassington
Angela Margaret Mackail was born on January 30, 1890 at 27 Young Street, Kensington Square, London. Her grandfather was Sir Edward Burne-Jones the pre-Raphaelite painter and partner in the design firm of Morris and Company for whom he designed many stained glass windows - seven of which are in St Margaret's Church in Rottingdean, West Sussex. Her grandmother was Georgiana Macdonald, one of a prec ...more
More about Angela Thirkell...

Other Books in the Series

Barsetshire (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • High Rising
  • Wild Strawberries
  • The Demon in the House
  • August Folly
  • Summer Half
  • Pomfret Towers
  • The Brandons
  • Cheerfulness Breaks In
  • Northbridge Rectory
  • Marling Hall

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »